Sunday, June 21, 2015

Istanbul - Where Orient Meets Occident




Just close your eyes and imagine a far away place where Orient meets Occident, where a bridge connects Asia with Europe, where the old Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Osmans erected stunning buildings and now people from all over the world come to visit, admiring it's beauty.
Got the picture? No more guessing, it's Istanbul the former Constantinople, Capital of the East Roman Empire.
The sights, sounds and scents of the city are amazing.
When you walk through Istanbul, open not only your eyes but experience the place with all your senses.
So many long gone Empires ruled here and left their traces, the stunning Byzantine Hagia Sophia , one of the most beautiful  buildings the world has ever seen, the amazing Blue Mosque, The Basilica Cistern, for sure the world's most beautiful water reservoir.
After hours of strolling through the city, visiting the many sights it has to offer, we decided to experience the ambience of Istanbul,  enjoying a Turkish coffee at the garden of the Archeological Museum.
Surrounded by stunning vegetation, it's a place where time and the noise of modern Istanbul  stand still for a precious moment and the old Greek columns, sarcophagus and sculptures seem to speak to the visitors.
The nights are long in Istanbul and in the evening there are many restaurants serving excellent Turkish cuisine making it quite difficult which one to choose.
Pricy roof top bars with amazing views invite visitors to sip drinks and enjoy the amazing views over the city.  
Later, trendy nightclubs for the young and beautiful ones open their doors with the beat of Arabic and International Dancefloor music.
The next morning, I would recommend you to try some Anatolian Breakfast to recover your energies. It offers different kind of fruits, veggies, cheese, Philo past filled with spinach or cheese and wonderful honey with fresh made yogurt, the perfect treat to start a new day.

The perfect beauty of Hagia Sophia, built in the 6th century.
It's central dome was often interpreted as the dome of heaven itself.

The splendor of the Ottoman Empire captured in this room at the Topkapi Palace.



Charms and decorations, used to repel the evil eye.

A colorful selection of hand made soaps.

Tasting Turkish Coffee at the Grand Bazaar


Sharing ou breakfast with this cute little fellow


A huge variety of bath sponges on display

The right ilumination for 1001 nights

The legendary Blue Mosque

Having tea at the garden of the Archeological Museum


Rich sweets made of honey and pistaccios called rightfully Turkish Delights

A symphony in blue at the Topkapi Palace


 Freshly made bread at a restaurant

The old city seen from the Bosphorus side


Our last evening at Istanbul - dinner at a friend's place with a to die for view over the city and the sea

Places to visit:
Hagia Sophia- http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/haso/hd_haso.htm
Chora Church -  http://www.choramuseum.com/history/mosaics-and-frescoes/, one of my favorites, it-s mosaics are stunning. Unfortunatly, the main part is under restauration until 2016, but the entrance, which is open to the public is worth the visit.
 Basilica Cistern - http://www.istanbultrails.com/2008/06/the-basilica-cistern-the-coolest-spot-in-town/
Blue Mosque - http://www.bluemosque.co/
Topkapi Palace -  http://topkapisarayi.gov.tr/en
Insider Tip:
-A beautiful place to enjoy Turkish tea or coffee is the garden of the Archeological Museum   
http://www.istanbularkeoloji.gov.tr/main_page
-Instead of the quite pricy and very touristic Bosphorus cruises take one of the regular ferry boats - an enjoyable aprox. 2 hours boat trip at a moderate price.






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48 comments:

  1. On my list of "must visits" for sure.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Monica, I'm sure you would enjoy to discover Istanbul very much!

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi Angie,
      It is, and so interesting to discover.

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  3. Lovely Daniela! How beautiful look these cups with the turkish coffe!!
    When I married (years ago) someones give me some cups like these but with all the moves I dont know where they go, look beautiful.
    (The family of my hubby is from Libano and Palestina)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gloria,
      Oh, so sorry that your beautiful cups went lost.
      I must confess, I'm convinced that coffee tastes so much better when served in a beautiful cup :)

      Delete
  4. The soaps are beautiful, look like candies:))

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    Replies
    1. This us exactly what I thought they were at first sight: candies until I had a closer look.

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  5. So gorgeous, I am so jealous. It is on my bucket list. I was in Kusadasi for 3 hours once lol. Gorgeous pics and the cat is so cute!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Evelyne,
      thank you for accompanying me at this trip, so glad you enjoyed the virtual visit.

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  6. On my lists to visit one day! Almost all my family has gone over the course of the last few years and they all loved it. We supposedly have some Turkish ancestry (Ottoman).
    Looks like you had an incredible time.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nazneen,
      So nice to hear that you have some Turkish ancestry, these a very kind and friendly people.
      Hope you can visit soon.

      Delete
  7. I've never been to Istanbul, and would so love to go. Fantastic pictures! Really gotta plan and make a trip happen. ;-)

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    1. Hi John,
      Hope you can make this trip soon, it' s a fantastic place to discover.
      Cheers.

      Delete
  8. What a beautiful city and delicious food! One of my friends just returned from a trip to Istanbul and among others and she absolutely loved the food there. Time to plan my next trip lol. Thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. So true, food was delicious in Turkey and very refined.
      Hope you can make this trip soon.

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  9. Beautiful post! It makes me want to go to Istanbul :)

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  10. Gorgeous photos! Istanbul is one of my favourite places - we loved the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the amazing food! So glad you had a great time.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beth.
      Istanbul is realy a fantastic place and we had a great time there.

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  11. Your pictures are gorgeous. Some day I hope to travel and see the world. You are very fortunate to be able to travel like you do.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dawn,
      So glad to hear that you enjoyed the pics and thanks for accompanying me at this virtual trip!

      Delete
  12. Yo simplemente muero de ganas por ir a Turquía. Así que déjame decirte que en estos momentos te envidio a morir...ja,ja,ja

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    Replies
    1. Hola Nydia,
      Ojala que puedes hacer este viaje pronto, realmente vale la pena.

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  13. Thanks for taking me to a place through your photos that I know I will never experience.

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    1. Hi Karen,
      It's my pleasure to take you along at this virtual trip, thanks for joining!

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  14. Daniella - I have always want to see Istanbul, and your post makes me want to go all the more!

    Right now, I am at the Airport in NY, en route to Frankfurt and then immediately to Salzburg! I will check in when we return - I am so excited!

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    Replies
    1. Hi David,
      I' m so excited for you and wish you a wonderful trip and gorgeous weather.
      Have fun!

      Delete
  15. Oh you are living my dream! I have always wanted to travel to Istanbul. Thank you for that wonderful look!

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  16. Hi Tricia,
    to me too this trip seemed like a wonderful dream. Now I'm back to Vienna but still remembering the amazing time we had in Istanbul.

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  17. I definitely want to go to Istanbul, it looks amazing and exciting. Thank you for popping over to my blog. GG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it's a trip you would enjoy very much.
      Cheers.

      Delete
  18. Beautiful! I've only had a glimpsed of Istanbul while transiting there in April. Can't wait to go back there for a proper trip!

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    1. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the virtual trip, Jasline!

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  19. I've never been there but it is on my list of places I need to visit. I remember studying the Hagia Sophia at school; such a stunning building. There is definitely a lot to see and do and enjoy in Turkey xx

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    1. Hi Charlie,
      It's an amazing city, so many sights, history, culture and contrasts everywhere.

      Delete
  20. Hi Daniela, thanks for the wonderful tour. Very nice place to visit... love the handmade soap and the Turkish coffee. Thanks again for sharing all the beautiful pictures.

    Have a nice weekend, regards.
    Amelia

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amelia,
      Thanks for coming along at this virtual trip, so glad to hear that you enjoyed it.
      Cheers

      Delete
  21. Oh Daniela, thanks for taking me on tour with you through your blog! I enjoyed my trip so very much through your photos.
    Thank you, also, for your visit to my blog and your kind, thoughtful comments. They were much appreciated.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kitty,
      So happy that you could come along at this virtual trip and enjoyed the sights.
      Cheers

      Delete
  22. Wow - what an amazing adventure and beautiful city!

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  23. What a beautiful adventure!! Everything looks so charming and regal :)

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  24. thankyou for taking us to a trip to Istanbul, they had the best pistachio nuts!!!
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

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  25. Hi Dey,
    Yes they do, I even had Kofta with pistachios- delicious!

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  26. This looks like a food lover's paradise! I would be nervous, though, about the impending earthquake that is overdue- just my luck that it would happen while I was there!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Fran,
      It IS a food lover's paradise and thank heavens I didn't think about the pending earthquake. If not the only thing trembling would be me :)

      Delete

 
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