Bridge from Europe to Asia ( from our balcony in Ortakoy)We began our journey in Istanbul. A kind friend let us borrow her "townhouse" in Ortakoy (just north of downtown Istanbul) which had a large balcony that proved to be a spectacular spot for people-watching, enjoying the breezes from the Bosphorus River, watching the bridge from Europe to Asia illuminate at night, and hearing the Islamic call to prayer from the mosque next door (this, however, lost some of it charm when it woke us up each night at 4:45 a.m. Note the megaphones...which were right outside our bedroom window).
During our stay in the city, we managed to find our way around the public transit systems and get to all the major sites (mostly via bus and tram). Be warned, those bus rides are not for the faint of heart--how there is not an accident every five seconds defies all logic.
Below are some highlights from our time in Istanbul. More to come from our travels to other parts of Turkey.