However, this adventure was historic, not because of the centuries-old mosques or that we were mingling in the heart of what was once the center of the world; this trip was remarkable for one reason:
The northern leg toward the Black Sea was stellar and we did have the opportunity to wander around the Asia side for a bit, but the return leg rocked most of the ferry travelers to sleep, which is not always a bad thing (although it did bring back memories of my days in the Navy ...).
Different from our last trip here, which was a 24-hour whirlwind layover that included randomly scoring tickets to a Dylan concert, this weekend we made time to discover new back alleys, get intimate with Byzantine mosaics and experience more Turkish delights (only some of which are euphemisms).
Despite wars and the many times control has changed hands, the art and structures around town are indicative of the way Istanbul's people have embraced diversity, with all those layers revealing its intricate beauty.
We ventured north and wandered streets looking for a random flea market (becoming more familiar with the work-a-day public transportation and practicing our Turkish along the way); haggled for scarves outside the Grand Bazaar; caught a show with various forms of folk dance from around the country, and later were scrubbed squeaky clean at the same bath house Süleyman the Magnificent frequented in the 1500s.
In all, this trip was filled with the excitement of getting to know a new friend, better.