If one had but a single glance to give the world,
one should gaze on Istanbul.
-Alphonse de Lamartine
It's another world here. A place where, I'm sure, the sun and water were both born... the salt to cut out shores and seas and the sun to bleach stone and bake rock.
Istanbul is a land of sultans and crusaders. Of emperors and rulers. You feel that as you walk and ride the boats here. (The city forms a divide between Europe and Asia; I had coffee today on the Europe side and I'll sleep tonight in Asia.) But regardless of which continent your gait straddles, the sun bakes an awareness of the ancient into the soles of your feet - no matter where you walk. Today, on board a jaunt between the continents, the salty Black Sea air sprinkled me with a sense of history's mysteries. This place has a way of getting to you. It's fearfully and wonderfully romantic.
I'm on to the palaces and spectacular mosques and churches next. After that, the spice markets and Grand Bazaar. Will send you another blog postcard as I'm able.
Sending my love from half a world away,