istanbul. in snapshots.

18 April 2012

Simply stated-- Istanbul is amazing. Our family spent the last week climbing the city's hills, eating kebabs and Turkish delight, shopping the spice market and viewing mind-blowing landmarks like Hagia Sophia, Galata Tower and The Blue Mosque.

Row 1, from left to right:
1. One of many Turkish Delight shops along Istiklal Caddesi (The shop named Koska was my favorite)
2. The trolley running from Taksim Square
3. A side street filled with Turkish delis, produce stands, spices, dolmades, olives (aka home to many of the ingredients for our dinner meals!)
4. The floor in our third floor walk-up apartment. We rented for the week, made ourselves at home and lived a bit like locals (which was fun as we prepped dinner meals to the sounds of the call to prayer that echoed over the rooftops of the city and not so fun as we experienced a serious lack of heat during our cool, rainy stay in the city!)
5. Turkish flags strung overhead on one of our blue sky days

Row 2:
1. One of many (many, many...) Donner Kebabs purchased from street vendors during the week
2. A stormy day at the Spice Market (I returned home with a big box of fresh saffron, a spice grinder, some Turkish coffee pots and freshly made string cheese.)
3. The flag of Turkey, illuminated in The Grand Bazaar
4. Traditional lanterns for sale
5. Inside The Grand Bazaar

Row 3:
1. Local spices for sale at an open air market
2. Piles upon piles of olives for sale at the same market
3. Turkish coffee
4. Dolmades, wrapped and ready for early morning market shoppers
5. My five-year-old enjoying the stretchy, crazy dessert that is Turkish Ice Cream

Row 4:
1. Hagia Sophia
2 and 3. Inside the dome of Hagia Sophia
4. A view from the upper level of Hagia Sophia towards The Blue Mosque
5. Inside the Blue Mosque

Row 5:
1. View on a rainy day while walking across the Bosphorus Straight
2. Halfway across the Bosphorus Bridge, where we paused many times and admired the Straight and The Golden Horn
3. A view of the fish boats rocking on the Bosphorus (The waves rock these little 'kitchens' like mad as the chefs grill fresh fish, place it on a crusty french type roll, top it with lettuce and lemon juice and pass it off to those willing to part with five Turkish Lira to taste its yumminess--- aka me!)
4 and 5. Views of the park surrounding Topkapi Palace. Fun fact: The Turks were the first to cultivate the tulip, 1000 AD)

Row 6:
1. The Galata Tower (Impressively, I actually made it a bit of the way around the observation deck, even though it was 67 meters up in the air and only wide enough for two people to barely slide past one another. Yes, I was plastered to the wall and silently praying my eight-year-old would want to turn back. My sanity was kept intact, and my fear of heights kept hidden from her view, when she said 'Okay I've seen enough. It's cold out here.')
2 and 3. The streets surrounding Galata Tower
4. Blue tiles (on the upper exteriors), lanterns (hanging from the awnings) and the ever present glass Evil Eye (at the far left of the photo).
5. The impressive Istanbul Museum of Modern Art (The baby loved blowing on the digital trees that seemed to sway in an imaginary wind. My son was enthralled with an exhibit that allowed him to view a movie after crawling along the ground and into a giant red balloon. I had that familiar electric charge that runs through my veins when at a modern art museum.)


Hanlie said...

Oh this was a treat. One of the countries on my list!

Kelly said...

I have added Istanbul to my list now too! I had no idea it was so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures!

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