Postcard from Istanbul II

september 16, 2014 at 09:28

Pomegranate vases

Jasmine tea

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Cat

The Blue Mosque by night

Park bench in Istanbul

Sunset over Istanbul

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Istanbul

The Blue Mosque

Endnu en lille billedstorm fra fine Istanbul. Jeg blev simpelthen så betaget af stemningen og livet i byen. Det var mit første besøg til et mellemøstisk land. Selvom Tyrkiet vel egentlig er lidt et miks mellem Mellemøsten og Europa var der tydelige (og mindre tydelige) kulturelle forskelle. Der blev helt klart kigget en ekstra gang, når piger kom spankulerende ned af gaden i korte shorts og en lille top, og som pige fik du generelt særlig meget opmærksomhed. Der var hele gader, hvor der kun sad mænd og spillede spil eller hyggede sig med en kop grumset tyrkisk kaffe. Vores guide på vores food tour fortalte, at det er meget almindeligt for mænd at mødes ude i byen, mens kvinderne samles i hjemmet. Det var også helt klart flest (nærmest udelukkende) mænd, der arbejdede i byens restauranter og i butikkerne, særligt i den store bazar.

 

Hvad der skiller Tyrkiet fra det centrale Europa er naturligvis religion. Så snart vi ankom til vores hotel blev vi vist op på tagterassen. Det var tydeligt at se hvorfor. Deroppe fra kunne vi ser udover hele byen. Mine øjne blev med det samme draget til synet af to kæmpemæssige moskéer, ikke langt fra hvor vi stod. Der var noget majestætisk over de eksotiske bygninger, som rejste sig over byen med et slør af mystik, for en bleg dansker som mig selv.

 

Lyden fra minaretterne når der blev kaldt til bøn tryllebandt mig. Det var dybt fascinerende. Det var også mit første besøg i en moské, hvilket (når du lukkede larmen fra turisterne ude) var en helt vild oplevelse. Jeg er meget fascineret af religion og elsker at lære mere om et lands religion og kultur. Religion og kultur er unægtelig tæt forbundet, og Istanbul er et interessant eksempel herpå. Byen er et herligt miks af gammelt og nyt, tradition og fornyelse.

 

Jeg tror, at jeg kunne tulle rundt i Istanbuls gader forevigt. Bare tage alle duftene og lydene ind. Lad solen skinne på min næse. Spise meze (Tyrkiets pendant på tapas) til jeg kunne trille. Observere handlende i den store bazaar. Prøvesmage nødder og tørret frugt i de små gader uden om krydderimarkedet. Falde i snak med fremmede om alt ting og ingenting. Kigge ud over Galatabroen og se både sejle forbi, lokale fiske og turister på vej mod næste seværdighed.

 

English: Another minor photo storm from amazing Istanbul. I was just so taken back with the atmosphere and the life of the city. It was my first visit to a Middle Eastern country. Although Turkey is somewhat of a mixture between the Middle East and Europe, there were some obvious (and less obvious) cultural differences. When a girl came strolling down the street with short shorts and a little top she definitely got some looks, and as a girl you would in general get a lot of attention. There were entire streets where only men would sit at play games or cards or hang out over a cup of grainy Turkish coffee. Our guide on our food tour told us that it’s very common for men to meet up at a café, while women would usually gather at home. There were also almost (nearly exclusively) men who worked in the city’s restaurants and in the stores, especially in the Grand Bazaar. 

 

What differentiates Turkey from central Europe is obviously religion. As soon as we got to our hotel and had dropped off our bags, we were shown to the roof top terrace. It was obviously to see why. From here we could see over the entire city. My eyes were drawn to the sight of two enourmous mosques, not far from where we stood. There was something majestic over those exotic buildings rising over the city with a vail of mystery for a pale Dane such as myself.

 

The sound from the minarets when calling to prayer mesmerized me. It was so fascinating. It was also my first visit to a mosque, which (when you exclude the noisy tourists) was an incredible experience. I’m so fascinated by religion and I love to learn more about a country’s religion and culture. Religion and culture is undeniably closely knit, and Istanbul is an interesting example hereof. The city is a lovely combination of old and new, tradition and renewal. 

 

I think I could ponder around the streets of Istanbul for ever. Just take in the smells and sounds. Let the sun shine on my nose. Eat meze (Turkey’s equivalent to tapas) until I couldn’t walk. Observe people shopping in the Grand Bazaar. Sample nuts and dried fruits in the small streets surrounding the spice market. Get to talking to strangers about everything and nothing. Look out over the Galata Bridge and see the boats passing by, the locals fishing and tourists walking towards the next sight. 

Karaköy

Salad

Istanbul at sunset

Basilica Cistern

Turkish coffee

Fountain

Nuts

Grand Bazaar

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Spices

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