From Istanbul with Love
Endowed with stunning historical and archaeological sights, urban lifestyle and a liberal society, Istanbul and its Customized Guided Istanbul Tour have become the most favoured destination for tourists from all over the world.
T A Ameerudheen wades through the multi-layered city. The only city in the world that straddles in two continents, Europe and Asia. Also, a city bisected by a quiet flowing Bosphorus…
The moment I got into the boat, a strange but pertinent thought tickled my mind. “Where am I right now? In Europe? or in Asia?”
“Bosphorus is the natural boundary between European and Asian continents. The strait makes Istanbul the only city in the world lying on two continents. You can see Europe on my left and Asia on my right. We are in the middle of the two continents,” travel guide Ensar Islamoglu’s words of wisdom woke me up from my deep thought customized daily istanbul tours.
Two hours later, I realised that one should not immerse in thoughts during the Bosphorus cruise. It is the time to keep eyes and ears open and watch the beautiful structures on either side of the waterway known for their architectural brilliance and historical importance guided tour istanbul.
Dolmabahce Palace – Customized Guided Istanbul Tour
The Dolmabahce Palace, the main administrative centre of Ottoman Empire till 1922, is on the European coastline; Ciragan Palace, a former Ottoman Palace, is on the European shore; Kuleli Military High School, the first Military School in Turkey, is on the Asian side; and the magnificent Bosphorus Bridges connect Asia and Europe (or vice versa), to name a few, will definitely leave an indelible imprint about Istanbul on any visitor.
The cruise was just a precursor. In the next two days, on our guided tour Istanbul, I was able to see some of Istanbul’s stunning museums, churches, palaces, mosques, markets, experience its natural beauty and enjoy food from special array of restaurants and hotels that might have catapulted the city as one of the most-preferred tourist destination in the world these days. Istanbul’s unique geographical positioning and nature’s abundant bounty have been a source of inspiration for top literary figures in the world. Murder-mystery writer Agatha Christie is believed to have written ‘Murder on Orient Express’ from the ‘Pera Palace’ Hotel, while Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock used to visit the city quite often.
Second James Bond movie
Hollywood too gave Istanbul its due by picking it as the location for second James Bond movie ‘From Russia With Love’, arguably the best of the Bond films, ‘The World Is Not Enough’, 2012 Oscar-winning movie Argo, and 23rd James Bond Movie ‘Skyfall’. These factors too seem to contribute in increasing Istanbul’s popularity.
However, the uniqueness of Istanbul lies in its multiculturalism and the ability to accommodate people belonging to different cultures, religions and ethnicities.