Across the Bosphorus - From Asia to Europe
Trip Start Oct 30, 2005
59Trip End Jun 19, 2006
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Istanbul also represents the last reaches of my Asian odyssey. On reaching this city, I have now traversed the breadth of Asia, from Singapore, glittering icon of Asian capitalism, to Istanbul, city of Leander and Constantine, heart of the Old World
Although that title is coming under some serious challenge at the moment. From the first, I fell in love with Istanbul, and She continues to wrap me deep within her spell. Tangibly European and Mediterranean, the Asian influence lends Istanbul a mystic beauty, and the air is pregnant with the aroma of spices and the haunting echoes of the muezzin. Very different from the architectural styles seen in other parts of the Middle East, the Turkish mosques are easily my favourite, with their tall slender minarets and graceful domes. Istanbul is full of them, all beautiful, such that they grace the cityscape like a string of flawless pearls, from the ancient Aya Sofia to the delicate and whimsical Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet).
Every angle of this city is beautiful, be it from the top of the Galata Tower taking in a 360 degree view, or cruising across the Marmara Sea from the Princes' Isles, as the sun sets behind the Aya Sofia and Topkapi Palace. I still have another two weeks to explore Turkey, but it's going to be hard to find somewhere I love more than Istanbul.