Maceraperest

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Turkey 1km, Bulgaria - Near  the Turkish Border Captured November 2, 2006.

I spent my last Bulgarian Leva on the way through de-immigration, customs and taxes, and then learned I needed to pay $20 for a Turkish visa. I hadn’t thought about a visa since arriving in Europe, so it caught me off guard. Also, since finding and changing money hadn’t been a challenge, I was surprised to find there was no ATM at the Turkish border and that the exchange office would not purchase the only money I had; Lei from Romanian, a country only four hours away.
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Istanbul Images

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Between Continents

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From the bridge at sunset, men throw lines towards small fish riding the tide out of the Black Sea, through the center of Istanbul and into the open Aegean. Some get caught on hooks and are carried straight upwards like a spider climbing its string, then get tossed into a white pail, which when full the fisherman carries down concrete stairs to where he can sell his heaving pail of silver slime and gasping gills to fine restaurants lining the lower level of the bridge.

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Whirling Dervish

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Basilica Cistern

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We almost skipped this when I saw the entry price was $10, but I’m glad we didn’t. The Basilica Cistern is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

Imagine entering a small, cement, single story building in the middle of downtown Manhattan, then walking down a long flight of stairs to the depth of the subway and coming into a single giant underground room the size of a professional football stadium. That’s how big the Basilica Cistern is.

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Ice-tanbul

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I had no idea Istanbul was so clean and modern and so heavily traveled by westerners. If it weren’t for the magnificent mosques, hoards of delectable Middle Eastern food, bustling street markets, polite, yet classically eastern touts and sung Islamic prayer bursting city wide from loudspeakers five times a day, one might think they were in Paris or Rome. Like the fully western cities, Istanbul is loaded with fine dining, first-rate café’s, high class hotels and fashionable shopping. It has a meticulous city center, attractive cobblestone walkways and plenty high-priced religious dwellings and ancient ruins to gasp and awe at.

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