Thursday, October 22, 2009

Istanbul = Not just a Turkish Delight

Istanbul is such a neat city. It's a fantastic combination of old and new. The city itself spans two continents across the Bosphorus Strait. It is a European city but with just the right amount of exotic flavour and beautiful Ottoman architecture - it deserves to be raved about, as it has been by everyone who has been here before me.

Today Mike and I left Sultanahmet to explore the Golden Horn and cross the bridge into Taksim. Having already watched the sun set over the Sea of Marmara last night, we opted to walk along the Bosphorus Strait today on the European side and walked along the famous pedestrian avenue (Istikklal Caddesi) to Taksim Square, then followed the sidewalk beside the many waterfront palaces to the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world - the Bosphorous Bridge.

The weather has been comfortable - warm low 20s and sunny during the day and cooler at night. It's a nice change from the scorching heat of the last few countries. I particularly enjoy sitting by the water and watching all the ships sail by while soaking up the sun.

So far I have been having a ball sampling all the street food - kebaps, corn on the cob, roasted chestnuts, and Turkish Delight (the cocoa squares are the best!).

Tomorrow we will try to visit the Aya Sofya before I head to the airport to meet Dan (we will wait to see Topkapi Palace until after he arrives). I am starting to think about the places Dan and I should visit (largely central Anatolia and the Mediterranean and Aegean cities) and debating heading off the beaten path to Eastern Turkey. The other backpackers here have been talking about how terrific it is and how hospitable the Kurds are, but time is limited... and I also want to make time for Gallipoli and Troy. We'll see...

1 comment:

  1. The pic of Hagia Sophia is great.
    Thanks for sharing.