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Istanbul

New Year's Eve 2012/13

Between continents, cultures and epochs. And a bit colder than expected during winter time.

Sea Side

My favorite spot where ever I am: The sea. Growing up hundreds of kilometers away, the sea always has a special charm for me. Lucky us, the hostel was on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, so we had to do at least two ferry trips every day.
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Fishermen

I have no idea what kind of fish they are looking for – but regarding the amount of fishermen on the Galata Bridge and around, it is unbelievable just anything still lives there.
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Markets

Definitely my second favorit place everywhere. Fishes are sold right on the small fish market next to the Galata Bridge – and of course there is the Grand Bazaar.
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Fish

Probably not from the fishermen nearby, but from bigger crawlers. A lot of fish restaurants are around the place as well.
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Bazaar

Uh, what a tourist trap. Hundreds of shops – and all selling the same. Can't imagine they won't make a better deal by selling different stuff.
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Food

Sesame rings and hot Sahlep is the best to keep warm during long days of walking this city.
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Mosques

You thought some western European churches are pompous? Better look at Istanbul's mosques first. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, New Mosque and all the others are just impressive examples of architecture.
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Praying

People are amazingly calm and relaxed during their prayers – no matter how many tourists walk around them.
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More Sightseeing

Mosques and markets aren't the only attractions of a 2.600 years old 13 million people megacity, of course. Even compared with the huge ancient buildings on top, the Basilica Cistern is still an amazing piece of work completeley built underneath the surface about 1.500 years ago.
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Galata Tower

I hate queues, but we heard the Galata Tower is really worth the time. An hour later we knew why.
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Streets

All those attractions are probably a must for a first time visit, but above all the walk through the steets in between is often more interesting. I love how much of everyday's life takes place on the street cities like Istanbul – even at cold winter nights. In contrast, the small Maiden's Tower at the entrance of the Bosphorus probably is the most quiet place of the city.
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© 2017 Benedikt Altschuh