I’ve wanted to visit Istanbul since I was a little kid. My dad was stationed there for a few years in the late 50′s and he’d get this far away look in his eyes when he talked about his time there. He’d travelled all over the world but no place else seemed to be as magical to him as Istanbul was.
Istanbul did not disappoint. Turks are simply great hosts. I always make an effort to learn to say hello, thank you, goodbye in the local language. And “I’m sorry”…that’s an important one It makes a difference. I’m not even sure it makes a difference in actually communicating but people know you care when you make the attempt. Maybe not always in Paris : ) but most places I’ve traveled, it does. In Turkey, a “merhaba” was always greeted with eye contact and the same greeting in return.
There were a million things I loved about Istanbul – the history, the architecture, Turkish coffee, the secularism, the Turks, being in Europe and then Asia and then back in Europe twenty minutes later.
When someone asks me what my favorite thing from a trip was, it’s often the same answer. As much as I loved climbing the tower of Notre Dame or just wandering around Sultanahmet before the sun came up… If my family was with me, it’s always the same answer – just hanging out with them when there’s nothing to see or to do and we’re just chilling on the bank of the Bosphorous with locals and drinking beer or we’re watching the sun go down behind the Eiffel Tower. This is heaven for me. And it’s when I know this is all enough.
My trip to Istanbul was made more meaningful from the info I got about my dad’s time there from his shipmates he served with in Turkey. Thanks especially to Bob Dickie and Richard Trower for sending me info on the places my dad hung out. And more importantly, for filling me in on a part of my dad’s life I knew little about.
All images were shot with the Fuji X-T1 with either the Fuji 18mm 2.0 or the Fuji 35 1.4. The Fuji X-T1 and the Fuji X100S are the best cameras I’ve owned.
The Hagia Sophia in Sultanahmet, istanbul.
I don’t think there is anywhere in Istanbul where you can be that you can’t look up and see a mosque or some incredible historic structure.
The Blue Mosque. I’m in awe of the graciousness that tourists are welcomed with into mosques in Istanbul.
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
We ran into nothing but honest taxi drivers in Istanbul.
The Fatih mosque in Istanbul.
A sultan’t crypt at the Hagia Sophia.
I loved all the street food in Istanbul.
The plaza in front of the Blue Mosque.
The Grand Cistern in Istanbul.
These were yummy…and cheaper once you got outside the touristy part of Istanbul.
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul.
In addition to the Grand Bazaar, there are seemingly endless markets that take up half of Sultanahmet. I’d wander for hours and eventually pop out somewhere far from where I thought i actually was.
A family getting water in Sultanahmet.
My friend Charles loves clowns so I got this shot for him…as my kids wait patiently as they so often do when we travel.
Teenagers are the same the world over.
The Blue Mosque.
Inside the Blue Mosque.
Praying in the Blue Mosque.
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.