I have so much to write about when it comes to Istanbul, Turkey. It's definitely one of the most dynamic and interesting big cities I think I've ever visited, and I packed as much as possible into my 2 days there.
But the tales of markets, mosques, and carpet salesmen will have to wait. Today, I just want to share my Istanbul experience with you via a collection of photos.
Here, then, is Istanbul through my eyes (or, I suppose my camera lens):
Outside the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) in the morning.
The ornate tiled dome of the Blue Mosque — easily the most popular place to visit in Istanbul.
The courtyard of the Suleymaniye Mosque, built by the famous architect Mimar Sinan in 1557. This mosque is the second-largest in Istanbul.
The carpeting inside the Suleymaniye Mosque.
Looking out over Istanbul.
Some of the amazing blue-and-white Iznik tiles inside the Rustem Pasha Mosque, in Istanbul's Eminonu district. THIS mosque should be called the “blue mosque.”
A typical residential street in Istanbul.
A water view.
In the Spice Bazaar (AKA Egyptian Bazaar).
In the square outside Hagia Sofia.
Inside the awe-inspiring Hagia Sofia. This basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum nearly brought me to tears.
I don't think I could ever tire of Hagia Sofia.
Men fishing off the Galata Bridge.
Inside the maze-like Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets.
Glass lanterns hanging in the Grand Bazaar.
A view out over Istanbul — check out all the satellite dishes!
With no minarets in the background, you probably would never guess this tranquil scene came from Turkey.
Istanbul's underground Basilica Cistern.
Cruising during the “golden hour.”
Rumeli Hisari, a fortress on a hill on the European side of the city.
Cruising on the Bosporus at dusk.
If you've never been to Istanbul, I highly recommend adding it to your list. It's unlike anywhere else I've visited in the world — in a good way. Stay tuned over the next week or two, when I'll share more about the city that straddles two continents!
Which Istanbul photo is your favorite?