Istanbul is both light and heavy. She weighs but a feather of the albatross who effortlessly glides from Anatolia to Europe. She beats in wrestling ring all the heavyweights, come sultans and czars.

Istanbul is both slow and fast. The streets have slept undisturbed for hundreds of years, but the cars race as if they all want to smash into one another.

She opens doors to all four directions, and welcomes the breeze of sea from three sides.

She has the price index of Africa, the quality of Europe, and the taste of Asia.

Self-proclaimed conquerers and poets come and go, rush to bestow upon her decorations and diadems, yet Istanbul persists with approachable charm.

Her citizens bear the wisdom of prophet and historian, with a heart younger than a school pupil.

It is a city of a thousand nations, a thousand flavors and a thousands colors. It is the city of white of the countless mosques, and blue of the sea at Bosphorus. It is red of tulips in Gulhane Park and pink of the smell of rose water. Yellow evaporates from the ageless streets and purple of the mist at a new day’s break. She is the new Rome, the model of what San Francisco could have become in 300 years, grandaddy of New York, a liquor that is intoxicating but never get you drunk, a book with no end but cannot be put down, a city without end, a painting which changes with season and time, and the paramour every empire is desired for two thousands years.

Getting there – Sea of Marmara
Galata Bridge morning
The Europe side – Istanbul, Beyoğlu and the Golden Horn.
Sultanahmet – The Blue Mosque
Asia and Europe
Strolling along the Bosphorus – aka the Baklava Riviera. This is definitely the highlight of my trip.
Ortaköy Mosque and the first Bosphorus Bridge
Suleymaniye Mosque
Spring time in Gülhane Park – the sultan has good gardeners.
How will I remember Istanbul.

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