A cacophony of pleasantries, Sultanahmet provides almost suffocating joy upon my first visit. It was vigorous and effervescent; a mix of youth and the old and everything possibly in between. I see strangers everywhere and completely lost track of where I came from. It was the feeling of being surrounded by so much grandeur and beauty, I just had to surrender in the present. To just be: neither as a traveler nor a stranger, but as a witness to everything that were happening in front of my very own eyes. And as I immersed myself more and more, it was harder for me to snap out from the moment.
There was the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, the Sultanahmet Square, the ekmek and corn seller, the pigeons, the brick floors, the spring leaves, and the smell of roasted chestnuts floating in the air. And each one breathed music into my ears – speaking to me, saying that I belong.
That I’m now part of their history as they are in mine.