September 26, 2011

Üsküdar, Istanbul. June, 2007

When you take the ferry from busy Eminonu across the Bosphorus to Üsküdar on the Asian side of the city, this is the beautiful vista that welcomes you. Sunshine on clear water. Few if any tourists. Friendly Istanbul people who greet you with legendary Middle Eastern hospitality undiminished by centuries of demanding foreign vacationers. Just saying. First known as the ancient land of Chrysopolis (City of Gold), perhaps because of its wealth, or because the setting sun bathes it in such beautiful light -- there is rarely only one backstory to legends in these parts. Today, it’s Istanbul’s oldest established suburb with an enviable slower pace than that found on the European side. The waterfront boasts many cafes and many more fishermen (seen lined up toward the right.) More than 180 mosques here, including two waterside buildings by the famous Sinan that flank the ferry port. The famous Maiden’s Tower on a small island offshore was once used as a Bosphorus tollbooth, now it’s an upscale restaurant. And this is where Florence Nightingale served during the Crimean War. But all that aside, it’s also just a beautiful place to walk around quietly, to take in the uncrowded welcoming beauty.

1 comment:

  1. istanbul is the one city i am constantly missing somehow. beautiful picture though. the water is so blue!