I really love Istanbul.  It's a city with a million things happening at once, a city of 12 million people, that as a tourist feels small.  You only need to stay a week or so and things quickly become familiar.  The kebap shop that has the best lamb, the little neighborhood mosque you find yourself walking by every day, a side street shortcut with a beautiful view of the water.  It's a city with the natural beauty of San Francisco, the rolling hills, the picturesque bridges, bright blue skies, and the history of Paris, old churches and mosques, Roman cisterns dating back to the third century.  Food from around the world, one of the greatest desserts ever invented, baklava, the gooey, honey soaked filo dough from heaven, tea shops and hookah bars.  Here's my first post documenting our trip back to Istanbul.  As always, 10 pictures and some foolish comments.

Istanbul straddles the continents of Asia and Europe.  Here's a shot from the Asian side looking back towards Europe.  The lighthouse is called the Maiden's Tower.

From a boat on the water, the view of Galata Tower.

We were lucky to stay only a few hundred meters from Galata Tower.  A central location with tons of restaurants and shops.  Thanks Dad.

I think this is a Greek Orthodox church.  I'm sure it's really old.

Suleymaniye mosque, in the courtyard.  Stunningly beautiful outside and in.

Galata bridge is shoulder to shoulder fishermen every day of the week.  We drove out of the city at 5 am, the sun down and the fog so thick you could hardly see 10 meters, and there were still guys fishing off the bridge.  

Construction on the New Mosque in Istanbul started in 1599.  It was finished in the mid-1600's.  So the New Mosque is actually about 400 years old.  
These beautiful glass lamps hang all over shops in Istanbul and give some great colors to all the markets.  
Turkish delight and baklava, the world's greatest 1-2 dessert punch.  I cannot get enough of this stuff.  

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