Dear friends Paul and Jan, who left on a cycling tour of the planet last May, blurted out before they left, come meet us in Istanbul for New Years Eve. Again I say, why not. What follows is a very brief documentation of life in the Turkish capital of some 14 million. Lyle Stafford/Images

img_7642 Pretzel seller in Taksim Square.

img_7702 Fishing for Hamsis (anchovies) on the Galata bridge with the Süleymaniye Mosque in the background.

img_7735 Taking a break from a busy market day near the Spice Bazaar.

img_7767 A stocking salesman demonstrates his merchandise to the ladies near the Spice Bazaar.

img_7768 Street meat, in this case, Tavuk (chicken) just waiting to become someone’s donair on Iskital.

img_7903 The shops on the Galata bridge spanning the Golden Horn.

img_7944 Pretzel salesman in the sprawling hardware market in the Egyptian Bazaar

img_7977 On the ferry across the Golden Horn enroute to Eyup. The Eyüp neighborhood is a historically important area, especially for Turkey’s Muslims.

img_8068 Looking for a card game plays out on the streets of the Kadirga district.

img_8094 Purveyor of fine floor coverings, show off dozens of beautiful Turkish rugs with many cups of tea.

img_8151 Whirling Dervishes perform at the old Orient Express train station.

img_8272 A street vendor sells New Years Eve party favors in the Sisli district just hours before the clock strikes twelve.

img_8282 Our favorite take away shop on the high street near our flat in Sisli.

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