In 2011, Eric and I took Turkish airlines to the states for a Christmas trip, so we connived a long, 10-day layover in Turkey on the way back home to Uganda. Turkey is an incredible country with so much more to explore than 10 days could afford. It is a fabulous mix of great history and contemporary lifestyle, of Europe and the Middle East. It literally crosses 2 continents and embraces a variety of lifestyles and thoughts. Turkey has a culture and a language all its own and you'll immediately sense and respect the Turkish people's pride in their nation.
Istanbul was naturally our first stop and although we were there for a few days, we could easily have stayed several more. We spent most of our time on the big attractions, which gave us plenty to appreciate! We visited the grand Aya Sophia and Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and explored the Spice Bazaar. We crossed the Bosphorus Straight and roamed the streets of Beyoglu. I loved all of it, but my absolute favorite experience of Istanbul was visiting a hamam - a Turkish bath.
Enjoy a few of my photos from Istanbul and consider putting it toward the top of your travel list!