Sunday, December 28, 2014

Istanbul, Not Constantinople

Before our Turkey trip came to a close, Ferit and I spent eight days in Istanbul. I tell you, it was difficult exploring Istanbul without having this little ditty running through my head:
Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night...
I had always assumed this song was the brilliant brainchild of "They Might Be Giants," an alternative rock band from my childhood. Thanks to my friend, Chad, for enlightening me, as this swing-style song was originally recorded in 1953, by a Canadian group called "The Four Lads." Who would have thought it!

A scenic view of the Galata Bridge, which spans the Golden Horn,
the primary inlet of the Bosphorus Straits.
The upper deck of the bridge was lined with fisherman, night and day.

Did you know that Turkey spans two continents? Yup, Turkey is in both Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus Straits, which divide the city of Istanbul, also divide the continents. Although Turks generally consider their country to lie within Europe, the truth is that most of the country (97%) lies within Asia (technically "Asia Minor").

Istanbul is a fantastic city! Fusing traditional Asia with modern Europe, the city has so much personality. Of all the places we saw in Istanbul, I far preferred the "off-the-beaten paths" over the touristy parts of town; everytime we wandered near the "Old City," I got this icky touristy feeling. Fortunately, there were tons of non-touristy parts of Istanbul just waiting to be explored. I could spend days walking along the water and meandering through the city.

A floating kitchen on the Golden Horn.

Delivering boxes of inventory to stores is a challenge.
Given the narrow streets of Istanbul, it isn't easy to pull
a delivery truck directly up to stores.
Given the brick and cobblestone streets, carts aren't practical either.
The men on the left were carrying boxes on their backs to the stores,
using framed "backpacks" on which to carry their loads.
The men on the right had dropped off their inventory,
and were heading back to pick up more boxes.

The mannequins in Turkey never ceased to intrigue me.
I'm not sure if these mannequins were advertising children's clothing
or some sort of bondage methods for disciplining unruly rascals.

The graffiti in Istanbul was spectacular!
Here is the last yoga pose of the trip.

A kitty cat casually strolled in front of a police raid.

Another kitty cat made its home in a hole in the wall.

Colorful steps, set against a drably-clothed me.

A picturesque back street.

On a sidewalk near the Dolmabahçe Palace.
Look closely. One of these people is real; the other two are graffiti.

We enjoyed walking around Balat,
the traditional Jewish quarters within Istanbul.
Here I am, peeking through a tiny keyhole in the door,
hoping to see what's on the other side.

Laundry drying above a motorbike.

A colorful set of apartments.
Notice the woman looking out of the third floor window.

A clowder of feral kitties was following two "Pied Pipers" of sorts,
who were selling fish from a pushcart.

Night falling on Istanbul, near the Bosphorus Bridge, in Ortaköy.

After leaving Turkey, we spent a day driving to the port in Igoumenitsa, Greece. From there, we boarded a ferry for a 28-hour sail across the Adriatic Sea to Triste, Italy. We then drove straight north to Hamburg, Germany, where we returned Dilek's car (thanks for letting us use your car for the last few months, Dilek) and then caught a flight back to the States.

5 comments:

  1. Fantastic photos. I especially like the three people in front of the graffiti wall and the one of the men carrying boxes up the street. Hard work! I always think of the GBS V-Show when I hear that Istanbul Constantinople song...not sure if you were still there when they had that song in the show!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. I don't remember the V-Show with the "Istanbul, Not Constantinople" song -- that must have been after I left. Happy New Year to you and your family! :)

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  2. OK

    1) Hardly a drab you :)

    2) love the painted stairs and the clothes above the motorcycle

    3) I thought I felt a disturbance in the force, musta been when you got too close to touristy.

    4) Thanks for one last lesson with the men with the back pack, I've learned a lot from you over there!

    Welcome back lady. Thank you for bringing us along with you. Gotta tell ya, between your pictures, poses, and story telling, you are able to make me feel like I was there with you :) Great work as always!!

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    1. You felt "the force," huh? I didn't realize it was *that* strong! :)

      I'm glad you've been following along on the posts. Hope you'll continue to be entertained and educated. :)

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