Missing Istanbul

I’ve only been there once, but Istanbul, Turkey is a port that’s not easily forgotten.  The former Constantinople sits on two Continents – Asia and Europe – and combines the best cultural experience for visitors.

Istanbul is a bustling, cosmopolitan city and the people, the food, the market and the attractions are what make tourists return again and again. Following a cruise on the former Radisson Diamond, We spent four days there and stayed at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul before heading home. This beautiful property was once a residence for sultans and it’s easy to see why. We were guests of a local tour operator who owned a home on the Asian side of the Bosphorus River. This lovely couple shared lunch with us at their home and showed us the city.

While I will always have fond memories, recent unrest there suggests I should cling to them because Istanbul will never be the same. I don’t know how this will pan out in the end, but I’m not very optimistic. I don’t think that the people there, still currently living in a democracy, will have the freedom associated with that much longer. I hope I am wrong.

I started thinking about the many places I’ve visited over the years that have had such dramatic changes that another visit would spoil the memory of my first visit: Israel and Greece are among them.

I know nothing stays the same forever and count myself as fortunate to have been able to visit these places, but I feel for generations to come who may never have those same experiences.

And that makes me sad.

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One Response to Missing Istanbul

  1. Having also visited Turkey (and Istanbul) recently, we too are very sad to see the encroachment on liberty and freedom in the country. You can read our travel story on Istanbul at http://www.sandinmysuitcase.com/turkish-delight-part-i-istanbul/

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