Istanbul! The last capital of the Ottoman Empire, which lasted over 600 years. It has 3000 years of western history to it, and hundreds of thousands of year before that. First it was taken over by the Greeks, who named it Byzantium. Next the city fell to the Romans, which then it was named Constantinople. Next came the Ottomans who kept the name Constantinople, only after the fall of the Ottoman Empire was the city named Istanbul in 1930.
Just with this brief tid-bit about Istanbul one can realize how much history the place has and why millions of people visit each year. Luckily for us we were able to make a stop there for a day before meeting up with family elsewhere.
Naturally we wanted to fit as much in as possible of the city, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and many others. The best thing is that majority of the historic sites in Istanbul are within walking distance of each other. Knowing this we did consider staying in the Sultanahmet district (where the above places are located), and just tramming/taxi it to the closest site then toughing it out to make it everywhere.
All of this is possible but we then decided taking a tour would just be better. I am not a fan of tours because then you have to go at the groups pace and you might just have really slow people. Tours can be a good idea if you have limited time because they bypass long wait lines.
Now onto some pictures!
Just an FYI because we were in Istanbul during Eid we missed out on the Grand Bazaar.
This is the view from Topkapi Palace to the Asian side.
So that is some of what we saw on the tour. Our pictures unfortunately do not do justice at all the the amazing architecture and the majestic atmosphere of all the sites.
All in all it was an awesome trip, only regret we didn’t have more time to see more of Istanbul. Hopefully we get the chance to go back!
Enjoy the rest of the summer!
Aleeyeh & Maisam