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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.

On our first day in Istanbul, it was ice cold and rainy. On the second day, it was ice cold, windy and snowing. On the third, finally, the sun came out. There was still a bite still in the air, but we ventured out in long underwear and winter hats. Our high tourist pace helped keep us warm and we saw quite a bit in two days of running around. More posts on the way about the things we saw.

I’m finding my interest in sightseeing comes in waves. Right now I happen to be all about the historical sites. Not a bad time to be hanging out in the city formerly known as Constantinople; the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. That was over 1500 years ago! Pretty old.

Istanbul is a place to send your Mom. Go with her. You’ll both love it.

Desiree came up with the clever name for this post. ‘Wenn du deustch sprichst’, then take a look at her blog.

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