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Jul 16, 2013

Last Scenes From Istanbul: The Galata Tower

Ahhh...here we are at the last of my Istanbul cruise recaps. I feel like it's been such a long journey, getting to the end of this part of our trip. Hard to believe we only spent a mere 36 hours there. We stuffed in quite a bit in those hours, totally scratching my Istanbul itch. Our last stop before returning to the ship to set sail for Ephesus that afternoon was the Galata Tower. The views from the top of this tower were awesome! Jaw-dropping, even. The photos you're about to see are some of the most fascinating scenes of Istanbul that we viewed, in my opinion. It's no surprise that Istanbul is far from being a quaint and quiet place to vacation. Every square inch of the European side of the city was covered by homes, businesses  mosques, restaurants, and historic tourist attractions. It literally looks like buildings were built on top of other buildings here. Hardly any wiggle room. In fact, while we were wandering around the Hippodrome the day before, we witnessed tons of people smushed into each individual car on the city tram. I'm talking faces smashed against the windows, doors barely closing behind them kind of crowded tram cars. Made me happy we had a private tour bus to ride around in! With over 13.9 million people crammed into its city limits, Istanbul ranks as the second largest city in the world by population. Although from the looks of it, I'd chance it to say that most of the population resides in the European side of the city. When we drove over for a quick view of the Asia side of Istanbul (just across the Bosphorus bridge), the landscape was much different. More trees and lush green space...less crowded and urban-looking.

Come to find out (as billboards all over the city advertised), Istanbul has a bid in for the 2020 Summer Olympics. D and I kind of laugh because there's no way in heck they'll get it...and not just because of the recent riots and political unrest the city experienced a mere 3 weeks after we left (scary, huh?). Where in the world would Istanbul even begin to build stadiums for the games? Not to mention the influx of tourism that would surely happen...where would all these people and new structures go? Unless they build everything on the Asia side of the city, Istanbul might be wasting their bid money on an impossible venture.

Either way, D and I throughly enjoyed our 36 hour whirlwind visit to Istanbul. Would we ever visit there again? Ehhhh. I feel like we got the gist. The crowdedness of the city is what deters me most. Getting stuck on Galata Bridge in an hour and a half worth of traffic after touring on day 1 almost did me in, but Istanbul is definitely worth seeing if you ever have the chance. Bring your camera...and lots of patience!

You could see the beautiful Celebrity Reflection (our cruise ship) in the smoggy distance from the top of the Galata Tower. It practically swallows that smaller cruise ship whole! Gosh, I miss that sailing vessel. Below are photos from our drive across the Bosphorus Bridge to the Asia side of Istanbul. Quite a bit less dense in population than the European side, but still pretty darn crowded.

Well, there you have it, folks. Istanbul in a nutshell! Onward to recaps of our port in Kusadasi, Turkey with scenes from ancient Ephesus! Happy Tuesday!

Linking up with Bonnie & Belinda for Travel Tuesday.


  1. We only had a layover in Istanbul, but we want to go back just to travel around Turkey! You two have inspired us to expand our travels. We are attempting 30 countries by 30 years old. Totally do-able I think! We are 22 and 24, so do we get to go by my age or his...? Haha!

  2. Casey, your trip to Istanbul looks amazing! I visited once for less than 24 hours and really need to get back to do this great city justice. PS: I found you through the Travel Tuesday linkup :)

  3. Wow. I'd really like to travel here.


  4. i think its really good to know that in 36 hours you got the gist. it looks gorgeous but maybe we will make it a short trip if we ever go!

  5. Wow the views from that tower are great. I love being up high in places where you can just really overlook the city. That looks amazing! Thank you for linking up with Belinda and I today!

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  6. Awesome, beautiful. I really enjoy reading about your adventures and seeing your pictures. My husband and I are big travelers so I'm always looking for new places for us to visit.

    Ashley (A Cute Angle)


  7. Wow, these are amazing and gorgeous photos! I feel like I went on this tour with you. haha
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Beautiful! And I can totally see what you mean, where in the world is there room to build anything! They'd have to knock half of the city down to have the Olympics there!

  9. I love these! We took a trip to Istanbul right when we moved abroad and it was such an interesting place.

  10. Just found your blog and am loving it! Your pictures are gorgeous. I'm going to Germany in a couple months so I'm definitely going to check out some of your archives. :)


  11. I have loved your photos and posts on Istanbul. I lived in Turkey for four years, but never made it to Istanbul. It is so great to live vicariously through your time there!

  12. What absolutely gorgeous photos!

    Sparkles and Shoes


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