Regular visitors to this blog will have worked out long ago that we’re not big on covering all the main tourist sights of Turkey here. It’s not that we don’t want to! The problem is, we only started this blog a couple of years back when we’d already made numerous visits to Turkey and lived here on and off for 6 years. That meant we’d already been to many of the main haunts on the popular Turkey tourist trail pre-blog days and we’d like to keep everything as up-to-date as it possibly can be.
For ourselves (and therefore, for the benefit of the blog) we’re visiting the sights again slowly, slowly. We enjoy it! Turkey has some of the most significant and beautiful historic buildings and sights in the world. How can we not enjoy it? But there are also those random moments that make you stop in your tracks. Even when you’ve been somewhere many times and walked the route many times and seen the view many times, sometimes you really notice a scene for the first time. We’ve got to include those times, too.
One of those times happened in October when we were in Istanbul. We’d walked down the hill to Eminönü from Süleymaniye Mosque in Beyazıt. Once in Eminönü, we bought a plastic cup of Istanbul pickles (turşu) and set off towards Beyoğlu, across Galata Bridge. All the while we were munching on the pickles and slurping pickle vinegar – oh how happy we are that this is the norm in Istanbul. We’re pickle fans!
Inevitably the time came when the flimsy, plastic fork would no longer suffice and so we had to stop and lean on the railings of the bridge while we polished off the rest of the pickles. That was when we looked back to where we’d come from. That was when we thought, ‘Just look at that view. Look at Istanbul!’
So many layers. The boats selling their balık ekmeği (fish in bread) on the banks of the Golden Horn; the overcrowded main road, packed with single decker buses and taxis; historic hamams and the Egyptian spice Bazaar just to the left; 1960s apartment blocks, office buildings and a multi-storey car park…and all crowned by the majesty of Süleymaniye Camii (Mosque). Amazing to think that when you walk up there to visit it, it’s not actually that easy to spot! Steep hills and high, stone walls do an excellent job of concealing it.
We can’t say this is our favourite view in Istanbul – we can never say what our favourite view is in Istanbul. It’s a city full of stand-and-stop-and-stare views! But this view says a lot to us.
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