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Istanbul イスタンブール

January 13, 2008

My trip to Turkey began and ended in Istanbul. This is a truly remarkable city. It is the only city in the world that spans two continents: Europe and Asia. It is officially the oldest city I’ve been to so far with a history of civilization dating back almost 8000 years. It wasn’t until Emperor Constantine arrived in the 4th century that it began to take its place as a major city of the ancient world as he made it the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
It’s had its ups and downs since then but it was pretty amazing to think I was trodding in the same places as many important historical figures. It’s really a bit of a mind-bender to be standing in the middle of the Hippodrome, seeing the Hagia Sophia (Ayasophia) on one end and the Sultan Ahmet (Blue mosque) on the other surrounded by trams and more modern buildings.

There’s no way I can give a full account of everything I did and saw in Istanbul. It’s best to let the pictures do the talking for me but I’ll give a few more highlights. Of course, actually being inside the Hagia Sophia and the Blue mosque was phenomenal. It never ceases to amaze me to realize that buildings such at they were constructed before modern construction equipment was available.

The Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian spice market were very interesting. The Bazaar is sadly commercialized but that hardly detracted from the atmosphere.
Water front along the Golden HornBlue mosqueBlue mosque detailBlue mosque interiorHagia SophiaHagia Sophia at nightHagia Sophia interiorYerebatan cisternGrand Bazaar gateCarpets and cafeColourRingsNuts!SpicesVendorCheese!Street vendor

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