One of my favorite things about going to Istanbul was that we took a ferry there! It was such a dramatic entrance to the city bustling with 15 million people. It was beautiful to approach it from this wide panoramic view and just get closer and closer to it. We took it because it was actually the most practical way, as the boat is faster from Bursa to Istanbul than road travel. I think the birds circling overhead made it all the more exotic with their calls going out over the city combined with the calls to prayer weaving sound bites over the city. The city was overwhelming, but in a good way. Absolute sensory overload. Being with a Turkish person , however, made it manageable and navigable.

I don't know why, but I absolutely found this building intriguing. The architecture in Turkey was not at all what I was expecting. The endless streets of apartment buildings were, but this more wooden, craftsman style home was not what I anticipated to be typical Turkish.

We started out sight-seeing at the Sultan Ahmen, the main mosque in Istanbul. Because in Islamic art it is forbidden to make images of humans, they have developed intricate, breathtakingly beautiful tile pattern designs. The entire place looked like one seamless quilt design.

And just as Rome has its street photo-poser gladiators, this area comes with its own Sultan photo-posers. I had to work hard to discreetly take this photo because I thought it was hilarious.

We stopped for a delicious kebab lunch to re-energize and at this fantastic, subtly sweet dessert made with semolina wheat and maybe some sugar water ahd honey(?). They just make a huge chunk of it and cut off portions: