I love the silly details that you notice while traveling. It’s in those details (is that you god?) that you really find a place. Istanbul was full of all the usual silliness. Enjoy the photos!
While walking down İstiklâl Caddesi and seeing all its crowds and street art was definitely one of the highest highlights of my time in Istanbul, another hugely great part was taking the ferry over to the Asian side of the city. We wandered around, got coffee (twice, obviously), and had some food. We even sent our postcards (because… Read More Ferrying to another Continent: the Asian side of Istanbul!
On my grand Lisbon-Rome-Istanbul sojourn I did something out of the ordinary when I participated in a free tour of Lisbon, and then I did it again, when I paid to have a tour of the Hagia Sophia. Despite both being tours, the two experiences couldn’t have been more distinct from each other. So here… Read More A Tale of Two Tours: Lisbon and Hagia Sophia DEATHMATCH!
Although Hagia Sophia made me cry the first time I saw it in person from the outside, we didn’t actually go inside the structure for a couple days. Pretty unusually for us, we had actually booked a tour to see the interior. When living in Rome in the past my dear companion worked for Context Tours, a… Read More Theodora is my Idol (I suppose Justinian was ok too): Hagia Sophia!
In Istanbul I wasn’t sure what to expect in regards to my ongoing global hunt for street art. But I found some! Perhaps not at all surprisingly, it wasn’t in Sultanhamet, but across the Golden Horn in Galata and Beyoğlu. We took more totally reasonable public transit up to Taksim Square, walked down İstiklal Caddesi, I bought… Read More The Unexpected Street Art in Istanbul
Perhaps equal in architectural grandeur to the Blue Mosque the Süleymaniye Mosque might be a better draw because it’s almost entirely empty. It has similarly spectacular tiles, soaring domes/half-domes, glittering windows, and almost no people in it. Though it’s the largest mosque in the city and is supposedly as big of a sight to visit, it… Read More The Empty Süleymaniye Mosque
Two of the major “must-see” sights in Istanbul are the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar. But if I’m honest, I don’t see the appeal. Both places were suffocatingly crowded and though my research had indicated that they were different, they seemed to have all the same stuff, just a ton more at the Grand… Read More The Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar: Crowded and All the Same?
Have you had Turkish Coffee? It’s not at all like the drip coffee here in the States. It’s not even really like caffè (espresso) in Italy. It’s thicker, denser, with the sludge of grinds at the bottom, that if you’re not prepared for you end up with as a mustache and the bitterest taste in… Read More The Glories of Turkish Coffee
Before I visited Istanbul for the first time, I had no idea that the Blue Mosque was across a huge square from Hagia Sophia. It makes for one of the grandest, most impressive, magnificent sights I have ever seen. I don’t think my humble words can do it justice, so here is the Blue Mosque, in… Read More The Blue Mosque: a story best told in Photos
I read Dan Brown’s Inferno on the flight to Lisbon and finished while I was in Rome, so I was psyched that part of that absurdly ridiculous story was set in Istanbul. I won’t spoil the story, but I will say that the Basilica Cistern featured! Dan Brown’s hacky prose didn’t prepare me for the spectacular experience… Read More The Basilica Cistern: Robert Langdon is the worst ‘Symboligist’ Ever