Here we are in a city that has been a cultural crossroads for thousands of years, also the only city in the world to span two continents (Europe and Asia). Istanbul, Turkey is a magical place, a city so intriguing to all of the senses. Think magic carpets, genie in a bottle, with gypsy music in the background and that will describe only part of it. Then, imagine the Muslim call to prayer, mosques, and Hagia Sofia (pictured above).
We arrived here two days ago, at the end of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan. Our first journey out into the city began at sunset. We strolled up to where the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia sit across from each other, competing for prominence. Without even thinking that these people were ravagingly hungry, once the call to prayer began bellowing and echoing through the speaker system children began running to eat and there was immediate joy in the air. We were also a bit hungry but felt guilty to get into a restraunt line when we had eaten only a few hours before, and decided to let those that had been fasting eat first. Since it was the end of Ramadan, a bit of a festival had begun in the area. All sorts of things were for sale including a hot and spicy rice drink that was quite delicious. There were cute little bunnies to tell your fortune and children’s toys. Children were running, playing games, obviously as excited as I was as a child when Christmas came.
This is a place that requires much describing, so check back later to hear more from this fabulous place.
P.S. – We have new photo galleries up for Madrid and Istanbul. Check ’em out and let us know what you think.