“New” Istanbul

We ventured over to the “newer” side of Istanbul during our visit here.  By new, I mean it’s about 800 years old.  Istanbul is essentially divided into 3 parts – Sultanahmet (the old side), the New City and the Asian side – all divided by the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Strait.  The neighborhood we focused on is the Galata area which includes Taksim Square and south towards the Golden Horn. Continue reading

A City and Country Divided

One of the cool things about Istanbul (or about Turkey for that matter) is that it straddles both the European and Asian continents.  Thus far, with the exception of our flight landing in Asia, we’ve spent our time on the European side.  However, during our time here in Istanbul we did a cruise along the Bosphorus Straight, the natural border between the two continents and had a chance to check out a little bit of the Asian side from the water.   Continue reading

Exploring the Old City – Sultanahmet

Istanbul is huge.  And it’s old – it was founded as Byzantium in 660 BC and then as Constantinople in 320 BC.  The Ottomans were in power until the early 1900s when it then became Istanbul.  With 14 million people, it is the largest city in Europe and the 5th largest in the world.  But what many don’t know is that it is a city divided on two continents – the European side and the Asian side.   Continue reading

Arrival in Istanbul

After a bit of a flight delay leaving the Netherlands, getting visas at the airport in Turkey (which interestingly, similar to Tanzania, wouldn’t take their own currency) and what felt like a very long time waiting for our luggage, we finally arrived last night in Istanbul.  I knew it was a huge city, but nothing prepared me for what we saw once we left the airport.   Continue reading