My Wonderlust ~ Istanbul
Istanbul is a feast for all your senses. With sights such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum and Topkapi Palace. The smells in the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The sounds of the call to prayer 5 times a day. The incredible tasting food and the feel of silk and wool in the beautiful carpets..
Istanbul’s locale is literally where Europe meets Asia. In fact it’s the only major city that straddles both continents separated by the Bosphorus Strait. It has a rich history, dominated at one time or another by Romans, Greeks and the Ottoman empire. Today it’s a modern city with a melting pot of many cultures.
There are many districts in this large city, the most popular being Sultanhamet or the old city where the major tourist sights are located. We stayed at a sweet boutique property, Ibrahim Pasha. We stayed in standard room. Although small (as most European rooms) and the bathroom even smaller it was clean and stylishly decorated. Below is the view of the Blue Mosque from the lovely rooftop terrace. It’s location can’t be beat just a few minutes walk to the Blue Mosque and 15 – 20 minutes to most of the other sites.
I found the people to be very friendly and helpful. You will most likely run across more than one person who has an uncle that owns a carpet store and wants to share information with you. Of course, I could not resist and bought one. If you love shopping the Grand Bazaar is a must.You can spend hours going through the maze of alleys and shops.Tip – go early just after it opens. You will beat the crowds and have a more enjoyable experience.
We were in Istanbul during Ramazan, a time where Muslims observe a month long of fasting from from dawn to sunset. At sunset families gather to eat, potluck style and talk story in the parks and around the mosques until late in the evening. It was nice to see families and friends enjoying each others company.
Our stay was only 2 nights and definitely too short. If you have not been I highly recommend and look forward to returning one day.