Istanbul Revisited: Arrival at Dusk

After days of air travel, I finally slipped back into the chaotic city life of Istanbul. It was rush hour, and a haze hung over the city as I watched it unfold before me with its ubiquitous bakkals selling tobacco and snacks, and its impatient traffic jams, just trying to inhale everything in.

I stayed in the Piya Hostel, which was in Sultanahmet, the city center. On my way to the hostel, I passed between the Aya Sophia and the Blue Mosque. I had never seen this area in the evening, and it was utterly magical the way the two mosques glowed in the darkness. A soft gold light emanated from the numerous minarets and domes, and I immediately fell under their age-old spells once more.

Istanbul never ceases to amaze me. It is always in constant change. I will never get tired of watching the crowded streets, a mixture of tradition and modernity, East and West. Women fully covered in burqas peacefully residing with women in business attire. Ancient mosques hold their own amongst the boutique hotels and five-star restaurants. This city is filled with blatant contradictions, which shouldn’t seem to work in theory, but somehow it does, and this is what draws me in every time.