I never thought I would get to visit Turkey twice in the same year. But here I was having a full day layover in Istanbul. If you have been following my travels, you know my first visit to Turkey didn't go exactly as planned, what with wrecking two rental cars, having no money, and generally getting lost all the time.
In reality, there was really nothing to "redeem" in Istanbul. Istanbul the first time around actually went off without a hitch and I enjoyed the city immensely. Still, with only like 2 or 3 days there in February, there was a lot of things still left on my to-do list the second time around.
Took a bus into Taksim Square from the airport and no shops and restaurants were even open yet. Just some early commuters walking to work. I wandered down towards the Bosphorus with a cafe in mind for breakfast. The rest of the morning was spent at the Istanbul Moderm, which is a great art museum set right along the river banks. The museum restaurant has an incredible river view of the city. Other than that, just a lot more wandering with frequent stops for Turkish tea and occasional wifi.
I didn't go into any of the mosques or palaces this time around, having already done those tourist traps earlier in the year. I just admired them from a distance as I wandered the streets.
On the bridge
Fisherman along the bridge
Once it got later in the afternoon, I headed over to the port to catch a ferry to cruise the Bosphorus. TurYol runs a "just the right amount of time to be on a boat" 2-3 hour cruise up the Bosphorus and back down. I got lucky with an incredible sunset while on the boat.