Going Turkey! – Part 1 : Istanbul

_DSF6303Istanbul remains an interesting and colourful place, a city where you can literally walk from one continent to another. And if you like doing that, you can do that several times a day! I simply love the sights, sounds, and vibrance of the place.

On my first visit to this city I was all by myself, but this time round Jaunine was with me and I was quite curious to see her reaction to a city that impressed me on my first visit. I was not disappointed – she took to it like a duck to water!

Like me, she was immediately struck by the sheer vibe of the city – this place is pulsing and ALIVE 🙂 From the small carts selling roasted chestnuts and corn on the cob, to the street sellers and shop owners inviting you into their shops – everywhere you go you are surrounded by a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, colour, and a lust  for life.

This was just the break we needed.

Yes, we took in the normal touristy sights simply because that is the quickest way to familiarise yourself with a place, but we were more interested in experiencing the place rather than just seeing it.

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Make no mistake – there is much to be seen and experience!

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View from the Bosphorus – the bridge that connects Europe to Asia.

Lovely shot of Jaunine showing the bridge from a distance from aboard a boat.

Lovely shot of Jaunine showing the bridge from a distance from aboard a boat.

Inside the Hagia Sophia. Once and church and mosque, now a museum. The only place I've seen that displays both Islamic and Christian symbols.

Inside the Hagia Sophia. Once a church and mosque, now a museum. The only place I’ve seen that displays both Islamic and Christian symbols.

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A typical “Jaunine image” – a low shutter-speed shot inside the Hagia Sophia.

Two more images below by Jaunine inside the well-known “Blue Mosque”.

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Perhaps less well-known than the famous mosques in Istanbul, but equally interesting, is the Basilica Cistern.

An underground 6th century water cistern featuring magnificent marble columns and two mysterious Medusa heads.

Very dimly lit, the cistern is quite damp and wet. Shooting images here are made very difficult due to the very low light and the fact that tripods are not allowed inside.

Very dimly lit, the cistern is quite damp and wet. Shooting images here are made very difficult due to the very low light and the fact that tripods are not allowed inside.

One of the two mysterious Medusa heads. This one is positioned upside down, the other tilted to the side. Both their positioning as their origin remain a mystery up till now. Rumour has it that they were recycled from a Roman building of the late Roman period.

One of the two mysterious Medusa heads supporting vertical columns. This one is positioned upside down, the other tilted to the side. Both their positioning as their origin remain a mystery up till now. Rumour has it that they were recycled from a Roman building of the late Roman period.

The only thing modern (except the subdued lighting) is this café at the exit from the cistern.

The only thing modern (except the subdued lighting) is this café at the exit from the cistern.

No visit to Istanbul is complete until you’ve visited a carpet shop !

Carpet upon carpet is being rolled out to gawking visitors while the intricate and beautiful handwork is explained, as well as the origin of each carpet, and the meaning of symbols on the carpet. Come with money!

Carpet upon carpet is being rolled out to gawking visitors while the intricate and beautiful handwork is explained, as well as the origin of each carpet, and the meaning of symbols on the carpet.
Come with money!

We all know the white and pink Turkish Delight, but the real Turkish Delight is something quite unique and freely available at the Spice Market.

The real Turkish Delight.

The real Turkish Delight.

There is of course much more to the Spice Market than just Turkish Delight!

Lovely spices!

Lovely spices!

You name it, they have it :-)

You name it, they have it 🙂

You can pick and choose!

You can pick and choose!

 

There is much to see and do in Istanbul, but to us the hustle and bustle of the streets, coupled with the sheer energy around you, is what makes Istanbul such a great place to visit.

From the street-side cafĂ©s with the menu-waving owners luring you to their eateries, to the pedestrians, bicycles, motor scooters, cars, buses, and trams all vying for the same space – there is much to enjoy in this city!

Street-side café with a tram shooting past nearby.

Street-side café with a tram shooting past nearby.

Jaunine managed to capture the energy on the streets quite beautifully in the following two images:

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At the end of a long day on foot, one can go have a beer and a nice meal at one of many restaurants while observing Istanbul life around you !

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We are sure to return here and hope that you will too.

Next up – the strange landscape of Cappadocia. Stay tuned!

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  13 comments for “Going Turkey! – Part 1 : Istanbul

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  8. Jeanneke Malan
    May 29, 2016 at 22:47

    Awesome photos!!!

  9. Cobie van Oort
    May 29, 2016 at 20:07

    So nice gedoen Jacques! Voel of ons saamtoer!

  10. Lilla
    May 29, 2016 at 12:21

    Exactly the way I remember it – September, Turkey here we come!

    • Elsabe Joubert
      May 31, 2016 at 07:50

      Baie dankie saam getoer

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