A bit of Istanbul

Men fishing with one of several mosques in background

Men fishing from Galata Bridge (one of several mosques in background)

6/8/09

We are slowly wrapping up our Turkey adventures in the city where they all began. After flying into Istanbul five weeks ago and hanging out at the massive otogar (bus station) for several hours only to begin our land travel across western Turkey, we are once again in Istanbul (not Constantinople….sorry, ever-so predictable, but I couldn’t resist).

Istanbul is by all accounts once again a world-class city. By our account, we would have to agree although unfortunately due to a round of sickness each, I can’t say we’ve been able to experience as much of it as we had planned. It’s never fun to be sick, but much less so when you are traveling. Even though you’d rather stay in bed, you feel obligated in a way, to each other, to yourself, and to this astounding place that you came all the way to see and will possibly never get to experience the same way again. Therefore, we’ve managed to get to some of the major sites, albeit walking very slowly (Jeff) and stopping every few feet to pull out a tissue and blow (Mari). All in all, it’s all part of the travel experience. When else can we roll out of bed at noon and decided which UNESCO World Heritage site to visit first?

We are staying in Sultanhamet in Istanbul, which fortunately is quite central to almost everything we want to do. So far we have shuffled over to Hagia Sofia (elaborate and grand), the Blue Mosque (not that blue), and taken short strolls around Sultanhamet and the surrounding districts. Today we will attempt Topkapi Palace and maybe the Anthropology Museum (but maybe not). If we are brave, tomorrow the Grand Bazaar (which is guaranteed to be awesome and intense) and Miniaturk, a mini scaled-down version of famous world sites where we can walk around doing Godzilla impressions (which I’m guessing will not be crowded at all).

Being sick has small advantages though. For one, it offers a convenient excuse to get away from overly friendly merchants, but more importantly helps with our food budget. This is nice, since lodging in Istanbul is much more expensive than elsewhere in Turkey. Even though our travels here are coming to a close in a world famous city on a slightly less than stellar note, I am grateful. Five weeks in Turkey has given us a chance to get a feel of much of the country, make some new friends, sample the local foods, and see the most amazing sights, all of which have made me certain that I will be back here someday.

Note: We have also added new pictures to our Turkey Album.  For those of you who have not done so, from our Photo link, click on the Flickr page link and then Details so you can see all pictures with descriptions/captions.

Posted: June 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Turkey | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “A bit of Istanbul”

  1. 1 cat said at 1:08 am on June 11th, 2009:

    i’ve fallen in love with turkey just based on your blog. hmm…may just have to make it our honeymoon destination… and looking at your itinerary, maybe i’ll be seeing you in china in the fall? i’ll be there studying.


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