Istanbul from a Distance

I don't know yet which of these is the Hagia Sophia. Maybe none. Maybe both.

I don’t know yet which of these is the Hagia Sophia. Maybe none. Maybe both.

Up there, you see one of the views from the ferry when crossing from the Asian to the European side. Until now, I was very busy running after documents. Istanbul is one of the biggest cities in the world (place 19 on the list according to urban area, 22 according to inhabitants). Compared to Moscow, though, I must say that it’s rather silent. The traffic still creates and underlying theme of noise polution, but you could actually have a conversation in the streets without shouting. Still, to get from one point to another, you might need up to two hours and three times changing the vehicle – if both places are considered central. In my case I went from Marmara Göztepe campus (in Göztepe, Asia) to the main foreign police department in Fatih (Europe). Since this took quite a while, I didn’t have time to see much from a closer distance. Hence the titel.

This could also be there Hagia Sophia. There are so many monumental churches and mosques around here, I always expect to find one that is even bigger. The ugly crane in the front is not to scale.

This could also be there Hagia Sophia. There are so many monumental churches and mosques around here, I always expect to find one that is even bigger. The ugly crane in the front is not to scale.

I wanted to take pictures of my campus, too, but it’s not really interesting. Especially since I’m not going to be there for the next three weeks. My semester as well as my work start in the middle of September. Prior to that will be Erasmus-events starting maybe at the 9th, and me finding my way in Istanbul. That works pretty well, by the way. Many people speak English, some even recognize me as a German on first sight. It must be my blue eyes, my blonde hair, or my Jack-Wolfskin-backpack. In fact, it appears that on the European side you can find far more strangers. Not a big miracle, since most tourist attractions are there, as well as the main shopping streets and the night life around Taksim square (pictures follow when I visit).

A short summary of my adventures at the foreign police department: Turkish government agencies apparently yet have to arrive in the age of the internet; there’s a room for babies, and considering the time you’ll spend here, it would also make sense to have a room for giving birth to babies (and also one where you can directly get them a residence permit etc.); disregarding all the beaurocracy, people were kind of okay, though. It’s hard to imagine the same policemen would shoot you with gas granades at another time and place.

Before I start my actual adventure in Istanbul, I have time for two more travels. After this weekend, I’ll go to Bulgaria and visit a friend. After the following one, it’s going to be couchsurfing in Izmir. Inbetween, I’ll surely post what’s up in Istanbul. And Humbowldt, of course, is waiting to be put in action, as well!

More people than you could ever stalk on facebook.

More people than you could ever stalk on facebook.

The bridge connecting Europe and Asia.

The bridge connecting Europe and Asia.

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