Uniquely situated, the city of Istanbul straddles Asia and Europe. I love the views of the water everywhere you look – the Golden Horn going off one way, a little finger of water only a few miles long – the mighty Bosporus Strait on the other side, connecting the Sea of Marmara (and the Mediterranean) with the giant Black Sea to the North.
I love the cheerful faces of the people here. They walk arm-in-arm up the street, shopping, chatting, enjoying the sun and each other’s company. They drink far more tea than coffee. Only a small fraction of Istanbul’s 12 million people can be found on the famous shopping street, Istiklal Caddesi:
We enjoyed watching people fishing off the Galata bridge. The fish were biting, too:
In the picture below you can see the Galata Tower (foreground) and, just to the left of it on the other side of the Golden Horn, the Blue Mosque and the Santa Sophia Mosque. The Santa Sophia Mosque was constructed as a church in the early 6th century and consecrated by the Roman Emperor Justinian in the year 537. It was only in the 15th century that the Ottomans converted the church into a mosque and added the minarets.
Finally we got off at Anadolu Kavagi and hiked up to the hilltop ruins, from which you have this magnificent view of the Black Sea.