I’m not one for bucket lists. But ever since I was a teenager, I’ve had a list of 5 cities that I wanted to visit (in no particular order): Istanbul, Barcelona, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Rio de Janeiro. I’ve been to Istanbul and Barcelona, but didn’t think I’d make it to Sydney (simply because it was so far from the rest of the world). As luck would have it, our move to New Zealand opened up Australasia/Oceania for us to explore, and this past Christmas 2014, we made a quick trip to Sydney.
After a fantastic visit to Istanbul about 6 months ago, I wanted to return with my family, to get them to enjoy my favourite city as well. The chance came over the Easter holiday in April, when we took a week-long trip to the Bosphorus. While September was not a bad time for my last visit, April offered a different view — it was cooler and cloudier, but other benefits more than made up for it.
It all started with the Argonauts. I read The Jason Voyage by Tim Severin about 20 years ago in high school and was fascinated by the description of the Bosphorus and the grand city that straddled the famous passage — Istanbul! Ever since then Istanbul has been on my list of places to visit. I finally got the chance to turn that wish into reality during a work trip to Europe in September 2012. Took a few days ahead of a meeting in Amsterdam and flew down to Turkey.