Istanbul - A City for the Senses

Right off the plane and into the heart of Turkey's cultural capital, Istanbul, where our senses were stimulated at every waking moment. Each day begins with the soothing sound of the morning Azan, or Islamic call to prayer, echoing through the streets just before sunrise. Walking miles on end to explore the history sites of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazar, and resting our feet by stopping for Turkish coffee, the best baklava ever tasted and plenty of cay, a black Turkish tea. With 15 million people calling Istanbul home, in addition to all the tourists from neighboring countries, it is buzzing multicultural metropolis, with some of the best people watching I have done in a long time. Loud music and the smell of nargile fills the alleys around Taksim square at night. During the day taking a fairy across the Bosporus to the Asian side of Istanbul, provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Seeing the city from the water offers a unique perspective, with quieter streets, markets and green parks I could have sat eating olive, cheese and mezze here for days on end.