Tag Archives: Istanbul

Weekend Links #38

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.

A few things I enjoyed over the last week:
1. Hearing about the little free library project and its aim to promote literacy and a love of reading (pictured above via, Merci, TOM)
2. Seeing David Sedaris at Carré in Amsterdam and receiving a copy of the never-before-published essay Innocents Abroad
3. Browsing photos of Stencil Art in Istanbul (pictured below)
4. Reading the NYTimes article about the importance of character in academic (and general) success
5. Attending the first Zuidermrkt, a new outdoor market in Amsterdam

Istanbul

The trip to Turkey began with a few days in Istanbul. We arrived in the city on a Saturday evening, greeted by traffic, heat, and crowds. The city was buzzing and we jumped into the flow as we made our way to a hotel in Taksim. The next day we rose early for a day of sightseeing. Walking through the city towards the Old City, Hagia Sophia, the many mosques, the Spice Market, and the Bosphorus. Sadly, the Grand Bazaar was closed, but we enjoyed slowly wandering and stopping for fresh pressed orange juice, pastries, and tea along the way. The following day we headed to the ferries for a day trip to the Princes Islands.

The Rüstem Paşa mosque.

The Spice Market.

Fisherman on a bridge across the Bosphorus.

A view towards the Asian side of Istanbul from a rooftop bar near Taksim.

The port on Büyükada, the largest of the four Princes Islands.

Antique stores and bicycle shops on Büyükada.

While the tourists queued in line for a horse and cart tour around the island, Marcus and I rented bicycles and headed in the other direction, stumbling upon a fantastic beach all for us.

Relaxing in the sun.

Seafood lunch in town.

The first of many fruit purchases.

On the ferry ride back to Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia

Visiting Hagia Sophia was one of the main reasons we included Istanbul in our trip to Turkey. I couldn’t miss the chance to see this historical treasure that I have been fascinated with since my first art history course. A cathedral turned mosque turned museum, Hagia Sofia (Ayasofa in Turkish) is a symbol of Byzantine architecture and the strength of the Ottoman Empire. And it is breathtaking.

A blend of the high ceilings of the Orthodox dome with Islamic artwork.

The Virgin and Child mosaic in the apse, now the museum exit, was one of the highlights.

The view from the balcony.

Details on the arched ceilings.

A mosaic tucked away in the corner of Hagia Sophia.

It’s incredible that this far-flung place I read about in my youth is now a place that I have seen with my own eyes.