Istanbul, not Constantinople

Istanbul, not Constantinople.

Today is Sunday and as such, the Grand Bazaar is not open.  Almost everything else is however.  But once again, it is an area that we have toured before.  Did we really see all there was to see then?  Certainly not, but a formal tour simply didn’t make the planner this time around.  Today was ever intended to be simply a HOHO day.

As has always happened with the HOHO visit, much more of the city itself was seen than previously.  The weather, once again, was what one dreams of during a vacation – bright, blue, sunny skies and temperatures that don’t require tuques, mittens, and parkas.

Turkey is a unique country in that, of its 817,000 square kilometers, 97% is in Asia.  The other 3% (and part of Istanbul itself) is in Europe.

Although a third of Istanbul’s population is in Asia, its historical and commercial sides are in Europe.  It also has a 1.5 kilometer bridge not only joining the 2 halves of the city, but also  spanning both continents. It is the only one of its kind in the world.  Modeled after the San Francisco Bridge, the distance between the 2 towers is a shade over 1 kilometer.

The Bosphorus strait that divides the 2 continents is so busy with traffic between the Sea of Marmara and Black Seas, ships are not required to use pilot vessels.  This leads to both ship-traffic jams as well as accidents between watercraft of all sizes.  There are no formal lines of travel.

Go…and may the force be with you.

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