So we were off to Turkey for two weeks. It was never one of the places I would think of to visit. So I quickly go into Google to find out more about the country. And I’m blown away!
Istanbul is(was) Constantinople! There was an entire syllabus dedicated to this city at school. And one can see why. The rich and complicated history in one city is rivalled only by Jerusalem in my opinion. And perhaps some of the Greek and Italian cities. But this is not a history lesson.
The only natural transcontinental city has rich culture on both the Asian and the European side. Since this was a work visit and the factory is on the Asian we had cross the Bosphorus on the day of arrival to get to our hotel. This is the river that separates continents, in the same city! The river itself is something to look at. From what I could see there are only two bridges across the Bosphorus. On arrival we sat for about two hours on the Trans-European motorway bridge in traffic crossing to the Asian side. We quickly learnt that this is a daily occurrence. Fortunately there are a number of ferries that cross the river. And that became our mode of transport across.
When we got to where we would stay for two weeks we could see that the Asian side is the true residential and industrial area. The European side has become a hub for business, tourism and entertainment.
It was a bit unfortunate that it rained the entire time we were there. We only got two half days of sunshine. But that didn’t dampen the fun or the experience.
I can truly say it was one of the best times in any country outside South Africa I’ve ever had.
The highlight was without a doubt the Hagia Sophia. I’m pretty certian I had a spiritual experience there.