Sublime moments #5: Istanbul, Turkey

“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul.”
So wrote the nineteenth century French writer and poet Alphonse de Lamartine. Those of us lucky enough to have been to Istanbul can attest to the beauty of the city on the Bosphorus.

I arrived one chilly, overcast, October evening back in 2009. Having settled into my hotel nestled in the heart of the Sultanahmet district, I ventured out into the Turkish evening with my trusty Canon 20D and tripod. It looked as if there was moisture around, but for the time being the skies had cleared. I wandered down past the darkened Topkapi Palace and onto Alayköşkü Caddesi and from there was rewarded with the most amazing sight of both the Haghia Sophia and the Blue Mosque both lit up.
I wandered past the Haghia Sophia and landed in the Sultan Ahmet park and gazed in wonder at both landmarks in turn. I placed my tripod on the ground, quite befuddled as to which I would photograph first. Standing in the middle of that park you will get the most amazing view each direction you turn. I was speechless. It was an astonishing sight to behold and one I will always remember. A young Englishman was the only other person close by and as he walked by he said to a friend he was speaking to on his mobile, “you wouldn’t believe what I’m looking at.” Indeed.
Just as a sidenote, I have to say that both the Blue Mosque and the Haghia Sophia were probably two of the hardest buildings to photograph well. They are spectacular but finding the right angle was near impossible.
Haghia Sophia © Julian Chan

Haghia Sophia © Julian Chan

Blue Mosque © Julian Chan

Blue Mosque © Julian Chan

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