Istanbul – the west meets the east

You were not passionate about coming here first, but you do not want to leave know – it’s a place you want to come back again and again. Istanbul is not an ordinary city, it’s the megalopolis, home for 14 million people, it’s where Europe meets Asia, where your soul meets a new culture, some sensations that are so unique that are truly real. The first place you visit is the Topkapi palace and you instantly understand everything. The reason why so many cultures and people were fighting for predominance, for getting this place, is so clear now. The view is magical and impressive and combines the whole meaning of this city, its value and importance. This was, and still is, a place where two continents meet, two completely different continents and where diverse cultures were associating for centuries, uniting and disuniting themselves and now Istanbul offers you the best from the past. You leave this palace with the strange sensation that you left something there where the sultan lived with his many women, but this place left something in your heart, too. And it’s all so inexplicable. You go to Hagia Sophia now to see another face of this many-sided place. This is not a simple church, it’s a magnificent massive building that changed the history of architecture and it’s the emanation of the Byzantine culture. This whole, once Orthodox basilica and now museum is enthralling and unique. And in the other side is the Blue mosque, also really majestic and sublime. These two architectural monuments are the symbol of the city that combines cultures and religions. There is something that every person can find in this place – something individual that will make him feel at ease. But the real Istanbul is not its sights. So you then go through the streets where you could see almost everything: you can taste Turkey, buying a roasted corn on a cob, or some chestnuts or a fresh. But if you want something typical and specific, try the tea – hot, in a glass cup, with a unique taste that you will keep into your mind like Istanbul. You can go into the market – the covered Grand Bazaar. And there you will be amazed by almost everything – the gold, the scarves, the souvenirs, the carpets. In the whole market you will smell the spices that were traded in the past just like the gold was. You will stop somewhere and you will try the Turkish coffee which has nothing to do with any other one or with something in Starbucks. You will feel some weird tranquility that is so east and so strange for all the people who come from the modern countries. This city is so shamelessly honest with its visitors. There is nothing hidden, but the reality in its refracted form. The past and the present are fighting here; there is a bridge between them, but there is a sea as well. You have to leave now? You will return for sure.