Just back from a week hols in Istanbul - my first time there. It's got an amazing history and pockets of it varied from each other - some places reminded me of New York, some places reminded me of Hong Kong, some places reminded me of California! I didn't go with any expectations - other than that it was a city and that one friend of mine described it as similar to Venice. It was really hot, there were blue skies and the sun was shining brightly.
The main thing I've taken away from Istanbul is that Istanbulis are so friendly, helpful and open minded - every person from the hotel, shops, corner store, market, random stranger on the street minding their own business was helpful. We asked directions of one guy in a sports shoe store and he went from one store to the next down the street asking other shopkeepers whether they could help us. Nothing was expected in return. I ADORE London to the core - but it could do with learning summin' from Istanbul in the friendliness stakes.
Istanbul is a great city - and I'd love to visit again to explore more and Turkey more. Every angle I turned I couldn't help taking pics and blogger won't let me upload more than 4 at the moment so here's just a random selection!
Is it Istanbul or New York? : D
A view of the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia
Thought the sparkliness of the lamps against the ceiling tiles in the Grand Bazaar looked so beautiful
This alleyway on the way to the Galata tower was just so captivating, the light drew me in
I'll be posting more of my pix in due course.....
Have you been to Istanbul - are you from there? Would love to hear what you think is great about the city.