Topkapi Palace – The Harem

The Harem

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.

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Bedroom

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

The Harem

Istanbul, Turkey – Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

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.

Outside

Outside

Outside

Outside

Outside

Inside

Inside

Inside

Chandelier

Chandelier

Ceilings

Ceiling

Ceiling

Ceiling

Windows

Windows

Window

From the Second Level

Second Level

Second Level

Mosaics

Mosaics

Mosaics

Mosaics

Istanbul, Turkey – The Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

There are a few obligatory sights to see while in Istanbul, and one of those is Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Istanbul has almost 3,000 active mosques, and the Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, stands out amongst the rest for its size and beauty.

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Inside

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

At Night

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Turkish Food

Tea

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.

Turkish Breakfast

Mezze by Lemon Tree – Fantastic

Mezze by Lemon Tree

Mezze by Lemon Tree

Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar

Lunch at the Four Seasons

Mezze

Four Seasons

Pide – Turkish Pizza

Four Seasons

Fish Special

Fish Special

Turkish Coffee

Four Seasons

Turkish Desserts

Desserts

Desserts

Istanbul Street Art

Art

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, Beyo─člu.

Panda

ELIH

Art

Yo! Ahmed

Yo! AHMED

Art

TURKISH BATH

TURKISH BATH

Art

art

Art

Cats of Istanbul

Cats

My last post from Istanbul focused on the city’s human residence. This post puts the spotlight on the real stars of the city streets: the cats. They are everywhere you turn and in all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns.

Cats

Cats

Cats

Cats

Cats

Istanbul, Turkey – People of the City

Portrait

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.

Shawarma

Shawarma

Chestnut Roaster

Chestnut Roaster

Istanbullus

Istanbullus

Istanbullu

Istanbullu

Istanbullu

Istanbullu

Istanbullu

Galata Bridge Fishermen

Galata Bridge Fishermen

Galata Bridge

Hagia Sophia iPad Guy – Don’t be this guy

Hagia Sophia iPad Guy

Approaching the Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Ashley preparing to enter the Blue Mosque

Ashley

The Spice Bazaar – We’re serious about spices

Spice Bazaar

Creepiest Mannequin Ever

Creepiest Mannequin Ever

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.