Apparently 12.5 million people live in Istanbul. Did you know that? I sure as hell didn’t, but according to Wikipedia it is true. So in essence the place is big, bloody big and extends far beyond where we have visited in our three days here.
Where we are staying, where most backpackers stay it seems, is Sultanahmet. It is a quaint enough spot right next to the Sea of Marmara and more importantly in the shadow of the massive and opposing structures Aya Sofia and The Blue Mosque. It is perfect for seeing the old town, but unfortunately is overly populated by spruikers for ‘authentic’ restaurants, carpet sellers and stalls selling shit.
The whole place it seems, is making last minute preparations for ‘the season’. A time when Aussies and Kiwis descend on Istanbul and Turkey more widely for ANZAC ceremonies at Gallipoli. By arriving at Gallipoli in the next couple of days we should hopefully miss the over enthusiastic patriotism and the hordes. Expect pics from there soon.
So what have we done in Istanbul?
Have seen Aya Sofia, both inside (read description of what I am doing here)
Finally today we visited Topkapi Palace which is not nearly done justice in photographsand following a recommendation from Peter Bale visited the Basilica Cistern, an enormous water reservoir under the city. The reservoir was created in 52 AD and was made by pillaging ruined buildings from the BC period.
Tomorrow we leave for Canakkale on a 7.00 am ferry. From there we will visit the ancient site of Troy along with Gallipoli. I am especially looking forward to visiting Gallipoli. Until then check out all our Turley images here.
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