Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Istanbul-Where East Meets West

Blue Mosque

Istanbul was a fantastic city. I called it "a place of imposing structures." Everything here is extra-large and extra-magnificent.

Charles lives here, and it was good to visit with him. I am glad I wasn't here completely on my own. It might have been a bit overwhelming. He was waiting in my hotel when I arrived and started giving me the low-down on layout, getting around, and the must-see spots. Thanks, Charles.

Here I am at the market with Oguz, Charles' man. He was very cool. I am glad I met him. He's a doll, really. This market was pretty unbelievable. All the colors and choices and fresh things. It was bustling with excitement--as a place dedicated to food should be!! =)



These two pictures are taken from the roof of my hotel. One of the noticeable and groovy features of Istanbul are the terraces on practically every building. I realize that, like most features, they probably sprung up out of necessity more than anything else(they are often the best place to catch a breeze in the sometimes stifling heat), they are still awesome.

I stayed in Sultanahmet (Old Istanbul), and this was the view of the Blue Mosque from my hotel terrace. I wasn't very far from the Sultan's palace, and while I did walk right on the grounds around and below it, I did NOT see it. Bummer. I may have to go back someday.

Ayah Sophia (above) and Blue Mosque (below), as beautiful at night as they are in daylight. Nights were warm-- just the way I like them.


Cistern signs--Well, you can read all about the cistern for yourself here. You'll see that the picture from inside didn't come out nearly as well as the picture of the signs, but I felt compelled to include it. It is pretty amazing that it is still there and still working.

There is a looooottt of water around Istanbul...

...So I couldn't spend four days there without getting out on it. As Charles and I cruised up the ...horn??...we passed, among many things, this swimming pool structure built right in the middle of the water. Amazing. And actually a good idea because you definitely wouldn't want to go right into the water--though some DO.

From the ferry...

ON the ferry...

(I liked this picture =))



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