Spring is much, much further advanced towards summer in Turkey than up north in Finland. The weather is already climbing to temperatures we Scandinavians would deem as summer and trees and flowers are blooming with life. And trees are green too!
This time of the year there is a traditional tulip festival in Istanbul so the streets are blooming in colors. Apparently the festival has been ongoing for a while so these where probably the last weeks of that and it was great to see.
Cherry trees are also already in blossom.
As you can see. Everything is rather green at this time of the year, I know that in the middle of the summer it might be a little more dry but spring is definately a nice time to visit Istanbul.
A little tea to refreshen the weary. Turks grow their own tea and like coffee, the taste needs to be rather strong.
Somehow drinking tea or coffee has a different meaning with such a vista to behold.
There are some very large bridges in Istanbul as the city stradles two continents and the Bosborus must somehow be crossed. In days gone by the city was connected to its other sides by ferry only. Of course with a huge population that is not the most practical way to do things so now there are two very large bridges crossing the strait as well as the ferries that still run a tight timetable. In the future the metro will also connect the eastern and the western halves of the metropolis.
Many small streetside boutiques selling food stuff are to be found. Local and tourist taste can both be satisfied.
Chips in the making. These were excellent, rarely do I get to eat freshly made hot potatoe chips so it was a rare treat for me.
Ah, so delicious and probably so unhealthy!
and more beautiful colors of the nature.
Of course, Turkey being a populous muslim country, the outlines of minarets are visible everywhere..
Istanbul, Constantinople, Byzantium. The city stradled between and upon Europe and Asia has had a long and important history. First as a predominantly Greek city, later as the second most important city in the Roman empire.. And after being the seat of the last emperors she was conquered by the vast and powerful empire of the Ottoman.
The old city was big in its time, as all big capitals usually are and as a natural meeting place and crossing place between the European and Asian trade the city has always been a centre for business as well.
As a city to visit there are almost too many sights to see on one visit, you really need to have a lot of time and maybe visit a few times.
The newer part of the city has skyscrapers and big malls and high rise housing. The older parts of the city are lower with small streets and backroads. And of course historical sites, bazars and mosques aplenty.
There are apparently somewhere between 14 and 18 million people currently residing in the city so its fair to say there is a healthy bustle pretty much all day and night. Considering the amount of people and cars the traffic is not really bad and walking is easy as well with people being very fluid and considerate towards other pedestrians.
Turks are a entrepreneuing and business minded people and all tourists get a taste of that when walking the streets or visiting the bazars. Prices are of course negotiated very vigorously in the bazars.
As a photographer its nice to note that the people are very open to being photographed and those who do not wish to be in some foreigners travel album show it quite clearly.
Some cities really come alive in the evenings and this is really one of them.
I shall post a few more posts about Istanbul in the coming days..
Sometimes growing straight and tall seems too much to ask. With acres to spare, this tree has not grown as a normal birch tree would have, tall and handsome. Instead sometimes things grow awry and look different, yet somehow also handsome.
Just a quick photo of the day. Loved the reflection here. Last snows slowly turning to melt and spring advancing.
SLowly fading the Sun gives it glow for a brief moment more and the landscape is lit beautifully, romantically. Crude rocks shimmer and give a contrast to this shot.
Another from the same evening, the swirl of the clouds in the sky contrasted by the nordic sun.
Just a photo of the day. Harbors are somehow great places to photograph, with a lot contrasts etc. I do not like the look of the smoke there though, but I do know that we need to power our economies with something or the other. At least the direction is right with lessening coal and oil usage and more sustainable energies hopefully replacing them.
Spring is advancing in leaps and bounds now and the snow and ice melt fast. This boat was featured on the blog awhile back on standing firmly on ice, but now she has half-sunk into the cold sea.
Staring into the eyes of a being that just probably would rip you apart given the chance is a little bit unnerving even when there is a fence in between. This male lion needed only to growl to make the hair on my my neck stand tall. Easy to understand how much it would frighten to see one standing on the plains and nowhere to climb to get away. No wonder many African tribes had passing rites to adulthood dependant on facing a lion.