Istanbul: mosques lost in the middle of shopping malls

My first impression of Istanbul was very negative. It is an enormous city of 20 millions inhabitants, full of traffic jams and huge shopping centers. I could understand why some people consider it as the nicest city in the world…

But I decided to give a second chance to the city, and I went back for a week-end. I visited the old city with its sumptuous mosques which rhythm the day through their five melodious prayers. The minarets are blowing a spiritual wind in all the markets, coffees terraces and public places… I got lost in the big bazar discovering new tasty food: baklava, locum, simit, Turkish cheese… I enjoyed the spices sent around the market, drank a Turkish tee and smoke a chicha on a high terrace, observing the mosques lightening up at sundown.

So I finally let me carry by the unique atmosphere of the city both in Europe and Asia. I discovered new drinks: ayen (a kind of yogurt) and salep (made with tapioca). But I didn’t enjoy the numerous kebabs, which tast more like fast food than traditional cooking…

Here are the pictures:

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