Thursday, December 24, 2009

Istanbul - Turkey




Before heading to Germany and the US for the holidays, I spent a few nights in Istanbul. The city of 14 million, straddling two continents, reminded me of many Asian cities I have seen in the past year - stumbling over the development threshold without really knowing how to. This creates a mix of very expensive / modern and very poor / run down.

While the Blue Mosque and the Haga Sofia are both stunning, the cistern - an under ground water reservoir built by the Romans (pictured) - was what fascinated me the most. Beyond the Grand Bazaar and a few other sights (as well as an obligatory trip to Asia) the enjoyment of the city came from the hours sitting in a restaurant / cafe, trying the food (kebab as well as great fresh seafood), and just enjoying a break from the ordinary.

While I wont be rushing back, I would certainly recommend it as worth experiencing - possibly at a slightly warmer time of year.

(more pictures in due course)

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