“Wandering in Istanbul, narrow streets,
Past houses hung with carpets.
Past cripples and beggars with songs
I walk briskly with light feet…”

Once, when I was flying from Cameroon to Russia, at Ataturk International Airport I had an inconvenient connection between flights – almost 6 hours.

Despite the queue of several hundred people in the passport control area, without hesitation, I decided to drive to Istanbul.

After changing 50 dollars and taking a taxi, I went to the center. Here’s my first shot from the car. This is one of the symbols of the city – the Valens Aqueduct, which was part of the water supply system of Constantinople.

I reached the well-known Taksim Square. I stood there for several minutes, admiring how the locals fed the pigeons and took pictures with them.

Then I took a couple of shots of the “Republic” monument, where, in addition to the most famous Turk, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, there are sculptures by Kliment Voroshilov and Semyon Aralov. The figure of the latter is placed on the monument for the assistance provided by the RSFSR in establishing the independence of Turkey in 1923.

Next, I decided to repeat my route three years ago, namely to walk around Istiklal.

In about twenty minutes I walked along this street, always seething with life.

In normal mode (without fast forwarding), looking into the shops and adjacent alleys, you can walk here for several hours, and in slow mode – all day.

At the very end of the street I saw another Istanbul celebrity – the Galata Tower. I climbed it last time, so within a moment it was behind me.

A few minutes later I ascended the bridge of the same name. He is the fifth in a row. The first one in wood was built in 1845, the last one in 1994. From here you can admire the Istanbul landscapes forever.

I even watched the sunset here once. Since I remembered about him, I want to publish here one poem I liked.


The shore emerges at dawn,
The fragrant wind flies.
How our sleepy ship stands
in a huge, round amber.

Furrowing the moisture in circles,
a school of fish splashes drowsily,
and this thrill is fleeting,
like ripples from light rain.

Istanbul rises from the darkness:
two sharp black minarets
on the dark gold of dawn,
above the silk-illuminated waters.

Vladimir Nabokov

As has been the case for many decades, maybe even centuries, this bridge is still full of fishermen trying to catch their goldfish.

In the historical part of Istanbul, I took the last shot and got into a taxi to go to the next, last point of my shortest foreign trip that distant year.

It’s interesting to walk through familiar places, but I was drawn to places I had never been before. When I initially drove to the center of Istanbul from the car I saw the embankment and a crowd of people. From the outside it all looked tempting, so I decided to spend the remaining hour here.

Since the taxi driver didn’t know a single word of English, I used my hands and sounds to imitate the plane taking off. We drove towards the airport. As soon as I saw the place I was looking for, I motioned for the car to stop.

I was incredibly lucky with this second stop and walk, as it was Sunday and the weather was gorgeous. Local residents lay on the green lawns, made barbecues, played various games, and swam. And all this over several kilometers.

I couldn’t enjoy the general positivity and energy. I just wanted to walk among all this love of life for the rest of the day. I was delighted with almost all the pictures that I saw along this embankment.

Useful links for Istanbul travel