This is the third and final post of my Istanbul trip (The first one can be found here and the second one here).
Blooming cherry trees frame the Mosque/Church/museum that is the Hagia Sophia. This used to be the largest church in Christendom before the building of the St Peters Basicila in Rome. With the conquest of Constantinople this was turned into a mosque and also formed a architectural inspiration for the Blue Mosque nearby.
The Hagia Sofia is immense. And very popular among tourists, so remember to account for a long queue of people awaiting to get inside.
Inside the blue mosque. Not hard to realize where the name comes from is it?
A work of art in so many ways. and a feat of architecture as well. Humans are rather good at building big things aren’t we?
New meets old in cityscape. This shot was taken on board a ship, hand-held in the dimness of the evening, with a little breeze giving a bit of waves as well so sorry for the blurriness.
The Sun slowly setting and illuminating another of the citys large mosques. I am not sure which one this is, but the view was lovely, especially from the Bosphorus.
Good Bye Istanbul! Fare thee well and I will surely visit you again!
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..