Traveled to Turkey in September for an all too brief, mother-daughter adventure week where we had four days in Istanbul and three in Cappadocia. The trip was amazing from the people, to the food, to the history, to the architecture...did I mention the food? We went to see the "main" attractions, thoroughly enjoyed the trams and ferries and did a fair amount of wandering where our feet took us. We left the hotel (Rast) around 8 each morning and returned by midnight and never felt unsafe. We were fortunate to be in Istanbul during the World Culture Festival that filled Sultanahmet square with music, dancing and cultural exhibits well into the evening. Some of our favorite experiences: visiting Mihrimah and Suleymaniye Mosques and finding ourselves alone; visiting Rustem Pasa Mosque and finding ourselves to be the only tourists there and having a group of young Turkish girls strike up a conversation with us (some english, some turkish, some french - I'm not sure what we talked about but it was magical and memorable); getting "lost" several times and finding the neighborhoods where people live; getting on the Golden Horn ferry at Eminonu on a perfect September day and going to Uskedar and then to Eyup without getting off, drinking tea and watching the ebb and flow of commuters going about their daily lives; escaping the heat and crowds of the Spice Bazaar area for a long lunch on the top floor of Hamdi Restaurant; the generosity and kindness of the people we met and their tolerance of my pathetic attempts at speaking Turkish; the haunting call to prayer repeating like a round across the city; watching the most beautiful sunrise over the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia; many, many glasses of tea; eating every kind of kebab plus borek, lamacun, pide, mezes, gozleme, simit, peynir etc. Our catchphrase for this trip was "nothing tastes like what I expected", and that was just perfect.
A few of the 3000 pictures I took.