Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Beautiful and sensational is how I would describe Istanbul.  Everywhere there are green parks, grandiose mosques, creative street markets, intricate clothing and jewelry, and natural wonder.  But more than this, the people here express a joy in all of this like no other.  This city has a pride in it I haven’t seen in many other places.  

The longer I stay here, the more I take to heart that I am a simple traveler from the outside.  I am just an American student from the South experiencing a city of great historical significance, economic phenomena, grand geography, and social intricacy.  I originally entered the massive city lost and not knowing what to do with myself.  Still now, I don’t exactly know what to do in such a city of incredible possibilities. We often times say we can’t truly experience certain cities in just one week; I don’t think I could effectively experience Istanbul in several months.

From what we have seen of the city and its surrounding area, its beauty goes on and on; it reaches every corner of the region, from the isolated suburbs of Istanbul to as far as the distant Black Sea.  Because of this, it leads me to believe the beauty of the city is not for the multitudes of tourists that come here, but rather for those living here.  The Turks take such pride in where they live.  We can see this in the families happily lounging in the parks, the men fishing for dinner off the Galata Bridge, and the young boys swimming in the Golden Horn.  I am coming to realize that Istanbul is the kind of city you can experience in part by just watching and taking it all in.  


It is a highly regarded notion in my eyes for a culture to maintain itself despite incredible and swift development and change.  The beauty of the city has certainly kept up with its development.  Here, I am able to see a mosaic of the region’s history and culture everywhere I look.  I can see Christian artists helping to construct the early churches of Constantinople or the Byzantine soldiers on the Theodosian Walls in defense against the Ottoman siege.  In Istanbul, you can see history vividly.  The city serves as a testament to time, and it is evident the Turks will never forget this.

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