Topkapi Palace is another of Istanbul’s most widely known and visited attractions. This opulent complex was the home of Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years. One of the most celebrated parts of the placae is the harem, which housed the Sultan’s family, wives and concubines. Wandering through these chambers, comprised of dozens of rooms, you truly feel transported to another time.
Another must see attraction in Istanbul, and one that I consider to be a slightly more stunning visit than the Blue Mosque, is the Hagia Sophia. Throughout its history, this impressive structure was a Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica, a mosque, and is now a museum. Constructed between 532 and 537, it is considered the height of Byzantine architecture.
From the Second Level
Out of all the countries and places I’ve been to, Turkey may take the prize for best overall food experience. Here is some of what we enjoyed while in Istanbul.
Turkish Breakfast – A delicious combination of boiled eggs, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers prepared by our host Amylin. Not pictured, a simit (Turkish bagel type-thing), as well as a homemade flat pastry filled with cheese and parsley.
Mezze by Lemon Tree – Fantastic
Lunch at the Four Seasons
Pide – Turkish Pizza
Many of the major cities I’ve visited throughout my travels have been home to thriving street art scenes, and Istanbul is no exception. From tagging to intricate murals, the streets where covered in one form of art or another. This was particularly true of the neighborhood we were staying in, Beyoğlu.
One of the most memorable aspects of my trip to Turkey was the Turkish people. In all my travels I’m not sure that I have met a group as friendly and hospitable as they were. For example, Ashley and I were preparing to cross the Galata Bridge and she happened to step in gum. She did not have a napkin or paper towel, and was futilely trying to scrape it off on the sidewalk, when a cab driver walked over and offered some wet naps. For the most part, I can’t imagine this happening New York City. So this post is dedicated to the interesting people of Istanbul, an amazing city, with amazing people.
Galata Bridge Fishermen
Hagia Sophia iPad Guy – Don’t be this guy
Approaching the Blue Mosque
Ashley preparing to enter the Blue Mosque
The Spice Bazaar – We’re serious about spices
Creepiest Mannequin Ever