Always heard this song growing up but never knew what the hell it was talking about. Well I found out when visiting my buddy Mickey, who is doing similar rotation to me, but in Istanbul. When the Turks came to live in Constantinople, over time they shortened it Istanbul, and locals even call it Stanbul. Learn something every day!
For those that are geographical challenged like myself, these pics give you a good idea of where Istanbul is located and the layout of the city. It’s one of the largest cities in the world with close to 15 million people and is actually on two different continents. The river that runs north and south is called the Bosphorous, splitting the city between Europe and Asia.
I have a lot of pics from the trip so going to break it up by days.
While Mickey was working on Friday, I explored the touristy area of the city called Sultanahmet. This is a very historic part of the city and has some of the oldest buildings I have ever seen.
First stop was at the Ayasofya/Hagia Sophia, which ia a Church that was built in 6th century.
Next up was the famous Blue Mosque just around the corner. Istanbul is mostly populated with Muslims and I happened to there during Ramadan, which is an Islamic month of fasting. Friday afternoon is a big day for prayer so the streets and area around the Mosque were full of people praying. It was a very cool experience to see. They have loud speakers all around the city that call out to the people when it is time to pray. You can here a bit of this in the video below.
Next up was the Topkapi Palace which is where Ottoman Sultans lived throughout there Empire. I got a bit lost on the way there, but was able to find a nice place down by the water to enjoy a tea. Turkey has the best tea I’ve ever had!
Rounded out the trip on Sunday by heading up to another northern part of the city called Bebek. First stop was to grab some coffee at arguably one of the best Starbucks locations in the world. It is two floors and has patio right on the Bosphourous. I think Starbucks could use the picture below:
In true Mickey style, we had to end the weekend on the best possible breakfast you can find in Istanbul. We went to a place called Kale and it definitely lived up to the reputation. Started the meal with vegetable platter with warm pita and three different kinds of chesses. Then we had a dish that was a creamed butter soaked in honey with more bread. And the best for last was an egg dish menemen, which is eggs cooked in tomatoes and peppers and is served a little runny. Unbelievable breakfast.