Istanbul–City of Contradictions

Welcome to Istanbul (more specifically, Hagia Sophia)

In the spirit of awesome global cities, here are a few photos from a week spent in Istanbul this spring.

As my neighbor on the flight there said: Paris is a beautiful city. Istanbul is an ugly city with beautiful places.

I might have to agree, to a point: Istanbul still feels like a developing country, even in Taksim (a lively neighborhood near where we stayed)–but the beauty of the mosques on every other corner and the ability to cross over to another continent [Asia] on a 30-minute ferry more than make up for it.

There’s so much I can say about Istanbul and my time there–equal parts getting ripped off and finding many warm, hospitable people; eating great kebabs and shaking my head in disbelief at how popular fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice is in Istanbul (in case you’ve never tried it, it’s the most sour taste I’ve ever encountered); the mix of secular European and religious Middle Eastern influences, possibly skewed by the many Saudi tourists with their women in full head-to-toe burqas and hijabs [some with no eye openings]… I could go on for days.

Inside Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia at sunset (sorry, I’m a big fan of ancient brick and mortar).

The New Mosque (actually still centuries old, from 1665 to be precise)

Inside the New Mosque.

By the river, eating “fish bread sandwiches.”

The Cisterns.

Within a building of the Topkapi Palace.

Twilight, outside the Sultanahmet Mosque.

What the rest of Istanbul often looks like…

Looking out onto the Bosporus at night, from the European side.

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About Development_Tango

Every nation's refugee. But more specifically, an open-minded French- and Russian-speaking former Moldovan-Ukrainian jumping between New York and California. Who hugs trees but tries to be logical about it. And wants to heal this broken planet by helping others help themselves.

3 responses to “Istanbul–City of Contradictions”

  1. Inventory London says :

    Istanbul should definitely be my next destination 🙂

  2. miladmaymay says :

    Nice! Very similar to the photos I took when we visited 🙂

  3. turkischland says :

    Reblogged this on turkischland.

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