Istanbul: Day 3

An overall excellent day, with lots of pictures to post!

We started out with a breakfast that was pretty delicious but not quite as good as yesterday's. The cafe was very cute, though.



After breakfast we proceeded to Galata Tower. This is an ancient tower (built in 1348) that overlooks the eponymous neighborhood. Lots of great views. A funny thing about Istanbul (from an American perspective) is that there just seems to be so many historical buildings that no one is too precious about them. In the USA, it seems like any building predating the 20th century is considered historic and cannot be altered in any way. Imagine our surprise on reaching the top of the tower and entering a cafe that could easily pass for the interior of a Starbucks, complete with loud pop music playing. Unsurprisingly, the tower provides quite the view of the city, although it was a bit hazy out.

I thought all the activity on the water was neat, so took a short video.

The view also demanded at least one panoramic shot.

I told you there were a lot of mosques.

We didn't spend all that much time at Galata Tower since we had to get to our next adventure: a tour of the Bosphorus Strait via ferry. The Bosphorus Strait, as part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, splits Istanbul in two. It connects the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea (which, eventually, connects the Mediterranean Sea), and is apparently the narrowest strait that sees international traffic.

Despite it being very cold out on the water, the tour did not disappoint. I took a ton of pictures but will try to restrict myself to posting only the best (well, only the ones I like the most, which is pretty subjective).

After the Bosphorus tour we headed over to Ortakoy, where we were meeting my brother-in-law's brother for dinner. I'm not really sure what that relation is called. Is he just another variant of brother-in-law? I'm sure both Chinese and Bengali (among many other languages, perhaps predominantly Asian ones, though) have specific names for the relation, but I'm not sure English does. Anyway, we went to Ortakoy to meet him. We arrived a bit early to explore the area, as we had heard it was interesting. There were a lot of cool little shops, a beautiful (and beautifully lit) mosque, and a whole bunch of baked potato stands offering all manner of toppings. Apparently a local (very local - pretty much restricted to that neighborhood) specialty. We were pretty hungry and very tempted but decided to save our appetites.

Dinner was great, though we were foolish and took no pictures of the event itself. It was nice to hang out with a larger group of people and get to know my brother-in-law's family a bit better.