This is my first night in Istanbul since May 2012. Like the previous time – which was my first visit to Turkey, I took a few days off to explore the city after completing a work project. This time, my project was cancelled at the last minute due to the situation in the country. While a lot of work and preparation had gone into this project in Bursa, Turkey, I’m just going with the flow and making the best of it. After a two-hour ferry ride from Bursa to Istanbul, I finally settled into the rental loft apartment in Beyoğlu that is just 10 minutes from Taksim Square where it all started.
Here are some moments from May 2012:
Cats in the sunSnails in the midnight rainThick Turkish coffee at Pandeli cafe in the Egyptian / Spice BazaarThe amazing view from the room that I rented on Airbnb.com with the Galata Tower taking centrestage while seagulls soared above making a lot of noise. Yet, the first time when I looked out of the window, breathed in the sea breeze and listened to the seagulls cry, this was the most peaceful moment I had had in weeks (following back-to-back hotel openings and events in one month). It was so nice, almost like a dream!Galata Tower was about 10-15 minutes on foot from the place that I was staying at and it was interesting to see the locals fishing on the Galata Bridge over the Bosphorus River. I wonder though about the quality of the catch and whether anyone eats them.Süleymaniye Mosque, the largest of some 3000 mosques in Istanbul, which is home to the greatest number of mosques in Turkey.I’m not a big fan of shopping but it was interesting to see a little bit of the sprawling Grand Bazaar which is so huge that there are street names within to guide those who are lost in this labyrinth of stalls selling gold, silver, carpets, antiques, hamam accessories, etc. You can learn more about the Grand Bazaar here, colour-coded map included!
If you get tired of shopping or walking, meet with friends and sit on the street to chat / gossip while sipping some Turkish tea / coffee or smoking cigarettes.I like this image, plus it’s rare to see a row of coin telephone booths nowadays in the cities that I live in and frequent.