This was to be our last stop before returning to India. Modern day Istanbul, largest city of Turkey. Byzantium, a city of Greece. Constantinople, capitol of the Eastern Roman Empire. Incredible! This is a city that had much to do with the way the western world and its religion were shaped.
Located on the banks of the Bosporus Strait with a natural harbour known as the Golden Horn, this has been an inhabited city since before the 6th century BCE and has seen its fair share of wars, rulers, empires, trade and commerce. Even today it is a prosperous economic centre and one of the most cultured cities in Europe. Alexander the Great crossed the Bosporus here to begin his conquest of Asia some 2350 years ago.
It seemed that we could not actually look in any direction, except out to sea, where our eyes did not fall upon a Mosque and the biggest of all was the renowned Blue Mosque. Other things I found fascinating in Istanbul were the markets [goods from all over the world and the best dried fruits I have ever found anywhere] and the bridge over the Golden Horn. Oh yeah…and the Hagia Sophia and the roasted chestnuts and….
Our visit in Istanbul was brief, just long enough to meet a few people and take a few photos. Now we are back in India at our āśramas and with the devotees. It was an amazing tour thru Europe and wherever we found devotees it felt like home. In other places we were just passers-by.
I expect to be in India until after Kārttika when I again return to Mexico, stopping briefly along the way to visit devotees and friends. Gaura-haribol!