You would be correct.
But I have not forgotten Istanbul itself.
We were able to visit this giant Turkish town thanks to a well planned extended layover on our ticket from Egypt back to Israel. Layover/stopovers are the perfect way to make the most of air travel; one ticket, multiple destinations. Istanbul is a great hub, and long layovers seem common. Perhaps this is planned by Turkish tourism and if so, it's a brilliant idea - they have something (ok, a lot of things) well worth showing off.
Istanbul, known historically as Byzantium, Constantinople, and many other names, offers a little of everything; stunning architecture, ancient history, hospitable people, vast markets, animal lovers, and superb restaurants. Not to mention the historical significance, museums, and countless other attractions we didn't even have time to touch. The city is a beautiful blend of mid-east meets european, ancient and modern, garden and building, all in one giant smorgasbord of awesome. The sights, tastes, and smells were wonderfully hypnotizing at every turn. I want to go back.
Of all the stories and impressions of Istanbul that I could cover - here's my favorite. I have seen many animal care initiatives but NEVER anything like this urban jungle offers. Right off the train we saw a beautiful dog wandering the streets. Naturally, my heart went out to him and I wished I had something to offer. We followed him on our way to our first stop and I was thrilled to see him stop to eat food some kind soul had left on a ledge. It was open buffet for dogs and cats alike!
In addition to the city pets, were many beautifully groomed, well-cared for personal pets out with their human friends; resting under cafe tables, running in parks, and walking through town. I can't tell you how much life this brought to my spirit. God's first purpose for humans, as far as I can tell, was to care for the animals. We seem to forget this all too often, a gift of joy and fulfillment we steal from ourselves, but one that was beautiful to witness in this city.
by the way its animals are treated.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Explore more of Istanbul with us in the slideshow below: