A regular feature on LandLopers is the Interactive Travel Guide. The idea is to highlight one city or country every week and then get the best recommendations from you all. By the end of the week, we hopefully will have created the best tips not from guide books, but from real people.
To continue this social media experiment, this week I want to highlight Istanbul.
Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul’s importance has never been in question, signs of which can be seen throughout the city. One of the best areas to experience the history of Istanbul, as well as enjoy a rare moment of bucolic peace, is found at the Topkapi Palace.
Topkapi served as the capital of the Ottoman Empire and home to its Sultans for more than four centuries. Vestiges of this Imperial past can be seen throughout the complex from ornate doors to relics in the museum belonging to the Prophet Mohammad.
Since it was nearly closing time, we rushed about the Palace, glancing through Treasuries and small Museums, more interested in the intricate design and architecture than anything else. My moment of Zen was standing in a patio overlooking the Bosporus. It was gorgeous, gazing out across the intersection of continents and cultures and imagining the people who stood there before me. Throughout Istanbul, but especially at Topkapi, the city’s rich history is palpable.
Prompted by the crowds strolling to the gates like lemmings, we left with hesitation, not wanting to leave the calm, peaceful world of the palace complex behind. It may have been at that moment when I fell in love with this great quirky city.
NOW it’s your turn. Please comment and tell us your favorite thing to do, see or eat in Istanbul. If you haven’t been yet, please let us know what you would most like to do.