Postcards from…. Istanbul

We loved Istanbul — and not just Cihangir.

The capital of great empires for 1500 years, first Byzantium, then Constantinople, the city forms a boundary between Asia and Europe.

The dome of the Aya Sofya, Istanbul.

The dome of the Aya Sofya, suspended high above, is jawdropping — 1480 years after it was first built.

Tugboat towing a tanker on the Bosphorus.

Big ships run through the Sea of Marmara, as they always have.

Bluework tiles at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

The tiles at Topkapi Palace are as fresh as they were when the sultan and his harem lived here.

Cacti and dolls at the Animal and Flower Market, Istanbul.

The Animal and Flower Market is a welter of colour and sound.

The Maiden's Tower, Istanbul.

Cruising the Bosphorus, the Maiden’s Tower still stands proud.

The Byzantine cistern, Istanbul.

Deep underground, the Byzantine cistern is more basilica than reservoir.

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul.

The Blue Mosque, with its six minarets, still rules the skyline.

Heaped spices at the Istanbul Spice Bazaar.

Spices are still bright at the spice bazaar.

Sign for the Pudding Shop, Istanbul.

And the Pudding Shop, where 1960s overlanders met, still makes baklava.

4 Responses

  1. Natalie says:

    Great pictures. Want to go back there now

  2. Ainlay says:

    I was there, my gosh, can it be?, 16 years ago. Glad to hear it still enchants and looks as beautiful as ever Such good food and coffee as well if I recall correctly! Tho you do get tired of the carpet sellers but I guess since you came after Egypt that was old hat for you.

  3. Theodora says:

    There were barely any carpet sellers, in fact, Ainlay! One person got as far as mentioning his carpet shop before I cut him off, and another two started the kind of conversations that lead inevitably to an invitation for tea in a carpet shop (scuse cynicism, but, y’know, if you’re chatting up tourists outside the Blue Mosque you’re there for something).

    We’re back in Bali now. And I can’t believe how relaxed the “transport” guys seem after Egypt.


    “No thank you!”

    “Maybe tomorrow?”

    “No thank you!”

    End of saga…