Saturday, 8 October 2011

Tales from Turkey - Part I

Yes, I know, flying carpets do perhaps not often appear in fairy tales from this magical country, but I can honestly say that I would not have been surprised had one flown by, right in front of my eyes, as I was sitting there on the hotel roof terrace in Istanbul, with this as my breakfast view to one side...

... and this to the other!
Slurping one's freshly squeezed orange juice in Europe 
whilst watching the sunlit morning haze over Asia, 
is a rather splendid way to start the day!

Between Sultanahmet Camii, i e The Blue Mosque (in the first photo above), and 
the stunning Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) is a small park with fountains 
offering sweaty passers-by a moment's rest or 
- if the wind is blowing the right way - 
a cooling spray of water.

Built in the 6th century as a church, Haghia Sophia was 900 years later ordered by the Ottoman Turks - who conquered Istanbul (then Constantinople)  in the mid-15th century - to be converted into a mosque, which it remained until the 1930's, when it was transformed into the museum it is today.

It is the most spectacular building, and the sheer size of it is enough to make this Swenglish tourist weak at the knees. See how small the people are down there on the floor? (If you click on the image, you can see more details.)

Its Byzantine architecture, its 900-year-old mosaics, its dramatic colours, its massive marble pillars, its Ottoman decorations, its extraordinary dome with light flooding in from forty windows around the base of the dome - all adding up to a jaw-dropping and rather mystical experience of a building whose walls, if they could talk, would be able to share many stories of exotic, dramatic moments of the days of yore... 

Even the street lights are stunning!

Istanbul is a place experienced with all the senses. A day in this spectacular city often ends with your senses groaning with equal amount of delight and impressions overload. The cacophony of sounds, the lingering joys on your tongue from the obscene number of baklava pieces you have sampled, the explosions of colours and exquisite architectural detail, the overwhelming range of smells - the evocative smell of spices, the vaguely nauseating sweet smell from all the waterpipes, the puffs of sewage stench, the whiffs of some lovely cooking from one of the many restaurants, the choking exhaust fumes, the collective scent concoction of 13 million people in this vibrant, crowded fairy tale city...

The Grand Bazaar

So yes, many of you proved to be splendid detectives - Turkey was indeed the destination for my work trip this time, with a couple of days in Istanbul on my way to Ankara, where the "real" work took place.

I  know this is supposedly an interior decoration blog, so forgive me if I - again- am a little unfaithful to that creed for a few days, to share with you some scents and flavours of a country I always enjoy visiting and which has indeed served as a source of inspiration for some of my interior inclinations...

Dining on the waterfront in Ortaköy,  a short boat trip up the Bosphorous.

See you soon and iyi günler!


  1. I love your post, even if it's not about interior! Our home is a little part of the world, an important place but there is so much more!! I have never been in Istanbul, but I think it's a wonderful city! You have a great job :-)!

    Wish you a fabulous weekend! With love, Ingrid

  2. Wow, vilka maffiga härligt färgstarka bilder!! Ser helt underbart ut.

  3. Beautiful images
    Have a nice weekend

  4. Love Istanbul, will never forget my first sight of it when we sailed from Izmir to Istanbul. Lucky you!

  5. How would you like to know Istanbul.
    Who knows ... one day ...
    Thank You for sharing your photos ..
    Traveled in thought ..

    Good weekend


  6. Wonderful, I guessed as such.
    I so want to go there, 20 years ago I went to India for 5 weeks and loved it all, think I'll be the same when I get to Turkey.
    Love all your photos.


  7. Wow, it must have been a great trip!
    Thanks for sharing,

  8. I've been there and i loved it! Its a beautifull place! Your fotos are super!Jolanda

  9. Wow, these are wonderful photos and absolutely magical place! Thank you for sharing it with us. :)

  10. It is an other world, but she is amusing ♥♥♥Rosine

  11. Beautiful !! from

  12. Vackert, vackert! Har aldrig varit i Istanbul men jag hoppas att jag får uppleva detta! Fantastiska bilder!

  13. That such is beautiful and would be so nice see it with my on eyes but I'm not sure can I take all the there, to much sound and people!!! I could also go shopping there, everything seems to be how I like things; colorful:) Next time could please send me few carpets, I love them.
    Beautiful pictures and this is your blog so you can pst anything what you like even it is supposedly an interior decoration blog:)
    Har det bra

  14. Piece of writing writing is also a excitement, if you be acquainted with afterward you can
    write if not it is complex to write.

    My site; free home remodeling estimates


Dearest reader, I am sorry you have to go through the extra trouble of word verification to leave a comment here. After having received around 250 spam comments for each post recently, I have unfortunately had to add this filter.

Thank you so much for your comments!