Istanbul... a city with roots as deep as 3000 BC
Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
91Trip End Jun 01, 2012
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Our journey to this world class city amounted to about a 5 hour drive... over the snow capped mountains of Kizilcahamam, through the low lying valleys of Adapazari and into the hills of Istanbul... spilling us into the ancient capital city of Turkey's old Ottoman Empire..
Istanbul is a city that is split by the Bosphorus Straight... a waterway connecting the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea, an aquatic border separating Europe from Asia... half of the city lies in Europe and the other rests in Asia... sounds exotic... well it is... Istanbul oozes the exotic... innumerable fascinating sights can be explored, ranging from the 1,400 year old Byzantine church of Haghia Sofia, built during the reign of the Eastern Roman Empire to the palaces and mansions of the old Ottoman sultans and grand viziers lining the shorelines as far as the eye can see... this architectural melee mixed with the sounds of prayers wafting from the hundreds of minarets protruding from the multitudinous mosques that seemingly command every hilltop throughout the city creates a constant pull into the past...
After crossing the Bosporus, and leaving Asia behind, we drove into Europe... wound our way to the old section of the city... found an entrance through one of the ancient Byzantine gates, allowing us to narrowly enter through the old walls that still surround a portion of the old city... could not find the hotel we made reservations at... bargained at a different hotel..
Deb and I had spent time in Istanbul about eleven years ago... we had forgotten how beautiful and romantic the city is... of course with two boys... staying in the same room... not much romance to be had... the life of a parent... either way this was a family get away... and get away we did... Istanbul gracefully whisked us all away from our little bubble on the hill...
I think Carsten summed up our family experience best when he stated. "I love Istanbul... we need to come here at least once a month!"