Unaffected Istanbul

I guess I’ve finally come down off my Istanbul high. At some point, every little trip we take just seems like a dream, doesn’t it? You come back, unpack, do some laundry, get back to work and all that euphoric, bouncy travel energy just floods right back out of your system as life goes back to normal.

Although, I’m still not 100% completely sober. There was just something about that city that I can’t shake. The thing that really got to me was that Istanbul was just so damn unaffected by its own beauty. Remember how I wanted to kiss everyone in Sardinia a while back? In Istanbul, I constantly felt like screaming at the swarming locals and tourists, “You guys! Look! Look at where we are! It’s all just so cool…let’s hug!”

And my excitement lasted all day long, from the moment my eyes opened until the moment my body collapsed back in our hotel room.

And, by the way, our hotel was incredible. Located in the Sultanahmet neighborhood, we had spectacular views of the Bosphorus and the Hagia Sophia. At any angle from the roof-top,  we were surrounded by coolness. (See? I’ve still got no descriptive mojo.)

I mean, just look at our breakfast view every morning:
The Hagia Sophia Istanbul

And then, we had this on the other side. (Ignore the creepy, blurry bird.)

The Bosphorus

So, yeah, our morning view was definitely the inspiration drug that hyped us up sufficiently to go out and explore all day long. And explore we did, non stop and with an almost maniacal level of enthusiasm.

Surprisingly, if I had to pick my favorite part of the city, it would be the hyper chaotic area of the Galata bridge. Yes, I know, all of Istanbul is a little chaotic. But this area was just my type of chaos: foggy, sunny, loud, frenzied and intensified by the mosques in the background and the sun glistening off the deep blue Bosphorus.

And yes, it was a true test of my self control (along with my husband’s warning stink eye) not to hug everyone around me. This was very difficult because the nonchalance of the crowds was just driving me nuts!

Bosphorus, Istanbul
I mean - just look at this view.
Bosphorus, Istanbul
These little boats serve an incredible grilled fish sandwich that only managed to fuel my love for this part of Istanbul.
Bosphorus, Istanbul
See how nonchalant they are? How can they stand it?
Bosphorus, Istanbul
Sheesh! People - Look behind you!
Bosphorus, Istanbul
And don't even get me started here. Don't they all look so relaxed and bored with it? Come on! Let's sing or something! Group hug?
The  Bosphorus
I imagined that these guys were experiencing a moment, so I gave them a pass.

And who doesn’t love fishermen? I’m a long time fisher-woman in case you don’t know and I loved watching these guys in action. We strolled along the bridge at least five or six times. Personally, I loved the rank fishy smell of the bridge. I know, weird.

The Fishermen of Bosphorus, Istanbul
These guys were soooo not paying attention to the beauty that surrounded them. Oh well, its a fisherman's prerogative, I guess. Focus and more focus.
Bosphorus Fishermen, Istanbul
View from the bridge below. If you decide to venture down here, just be prepared for some serious salesmanship. And don't hug anyone ...
The Fisherman of Bosphorus, Istanbul
So, if you choose to do so, you can eat on the lower half of the bridge. You can also get a reasonable grilled fish sandwich here, but the majority of the other places will "shave you" as they say in Spanish. The other side of the bridge, though, has more options and is a good place to have a beer and a small appetizer while you chill out and people watch.
The Fisherman of the Bosphorus, Istanbul
I wish I could have captured this moment better. The son was trying to show his mom his fisherman skills.
Bosphorus, Istanbul
It took all my might not to pick one of these suckers up and cast, but I didn't know if they were for rent or what. That, and I wanted another grilled fish sandwich.
The Fishermen of the Bosphorus
Families fishing together warms my heart.
I heart Istanbul
Me too.
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9 Responses to Unaffected Istanbul

  1. You make me want to get to Istanbul all over again (and I just went in April!) I loved staying in Taskim so that we were OBLIGATED to cross the bridge a few times a day. Beautiful and raucous.

  2. Cassandra says:

    These pics of Galata + co look stunning! I wanna go (and fish)!

    • Hamatha says:

      Thanks, chica! I haven’t been fishing forever, but seeing those guys on the bridge made me want to find a rod and reel and a can of worms! Maybe I’ll have to hit the Manzanares one day? ;)

  3. Paul Krol says:

    Those views from your hotel indeed are stunning. I’d probably be on a high all day too if that’s how you woke up!

    • Hamatha says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the comment! And yes, Istanbul was all kinds of inspirational. Just wish I had better photographic chops to do it proper justice! :)

  4. Sylvia says:

    Now you’ve got me craving those grilled fish sandwiches and the odd large bagel-like breads and the Loukum. Oh my, Turkish Delight!!!

  5. Mike says:

    I love your blog, you take some really amazing photos and have some great stories! If you are ever interested in entering them or travel stories, we have ongoing contests at BarrelHopping where you can win cash and get some exposure to your content. Check us out if you’re interested. Safe travels!

  6. The Guy says:

    Blimey they like fishing in Istanbul don’t they! I’ve never been but it certainly looks like a very cool place with lots of interesting landscapes. Thanks for posting so many pictures.

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