Although I am aware I planned to dedicate this blog to Paris however if you have read the “About me” section, you’d understand how I am consumed with wanderlust.
“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Detail- Arasta Bazaar, Istanbul
But most importantly, I am not keen on mandatory celebrations and festivities. I shy away form them. I’d rather celebrate any given day and make it a special day. Therefore I chose I fly away from Paris-la- Belle and spend Christmas in Istanbul … not Constantinople!
I had vague memories of traveling there as a child. My fascination with Istanbul came to me in my early twenties, after reading “La nuit du Serail” de Michel de Grèce and then ” De la part de la Princesse Morte” de Kenizé Mourad. These historical novels had all the right components to enhance my already sharp ability of dreaming!
We arrived in the evening and I was stunned by the colours in the sky.
I fell in love with the silhouette of the city.
As the evening grew, the majesty of The Blue Mosque became more striking. I was happy to notice the moon’s first crescent on the eve of our arrival; it added an extra touch of poetry to the picture.
Here are a few images of this magnificent Blue Mosque. How alluring and grand.
In the day time, seagulls circle around the dome and between its 6 minarets however at night time, I swear they change into falcons! Or is it just my imagination …
View from the Galata Bridge Asian side. Every day, from dawn to dusk, men come to fish. They seem to have their designated spots. Their stillness brings a feeling of detachment from the hustle and bustle of the city. Time has stopped.
Istanbul is about sights, colours and tastes so let’s have a çay before heading for more findings
I find a combination of grace, elegance and mystery in these little whirling dervish
Everything revolves, and the human being lives by means of the revolution of these particles, by the revolution of the blood in his body, and by the revolution of the stages of his life, by his coming from the earth and his returning to it.
The name Pomegranate represents the health giving properties of this wonderful fruit with its ruby red seeds, native to Turkey, Iran and the Mediterranean. It also has symbolic and mythological associations with natural cycles, rebirth and renewal.
Yes, this is Istanbul. Let’s head to the Bazaar, the Egyptian Bazaar
We all know this is serious business : Dolmeh
After our stroll, it’s time to visit inside some of these spectacular monuments starting with my favorite, the Blue Mosque
Then the Hagia Sophia.
Gabriel watching over visitors
Next stop ….
Topkapi Palace. Unfortunately it was impossible for me to take pics of the precious gems resting inside the buildings
The gardens of Topkapi Palace
The Sundial is a popular curiosity. All visitors climb up the steps and observe it attentively.
Entrance to The Dolmabahce Palace
The Galata Tower is the most recognizable landmark of the Golden Horn. The cylindrical tower with its conical cap rises high above all other buildings on the east bank of the Golden Horn and provides a magnificent 360 degree view of Istanbul. Not for me, though. I loathe heights since … the Eiffel Tower.
Along my promenade in Istanbul,I’d catch little winks from it and it would deepen the bond that was already established between us!
Down Istiklal Avenue, you’d find the quaintest little shops but what really impressed me was the tidiness and involvement of citizens in keeping their city clean. City Hall employees worked with diligence planting flower bulbs and keeping the city clean – Mr Kadir Topbaş, you are doing something definitely right. Madame Anne Hidalgo could benefit from.
Even the Muppets say:”Istanbul …. not Constantinople!”