Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Istanbul is so overwhelming. As I was picking photos to post tonight, I felt like screaming, "Somebody, please stop me!"
The distances we cover daily are impressive, and what's also impressive is how little effort it takes, compared to Kyiv or Moscow. And Istanbul goes on and on, well beyond the places we manage to reach.
Istanbul seems to be made up of small towns, dozens - if not hundreds - of them, drawn really close together by some weird kind of gravitational force. And it's impossible to feel claustrophobic in these small town-like neighborhoods: there's always the next one to explore. (Very sadly, after Istanbul, Kyiv feels as if it's made up of ghettos...)
In Istanbul, I often wish I had some really tall stilts to walk on: trees and light poles always get in the way, and it's a bit oppressive to be always looking up at the buildings, like a dwarf, and to have to climb hills that seem almost perfectly vertical, in order to be able to catch a panorama view of the neighborhood and of the rest of the city beyond it.
On a different note, today I've heard church bells for the first time here: at 4 PM in Kuzguncuk, a neighborhood where a Greek church, a synagogue and a mosque are located very close to one another. It felt strange, in a nice way. (Now I dream of catching the simultaneous sound of these church bells AND the azan...)