WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHS: Sahil Vohra
My father Sunil and I share a lot more than our surname and familiar-sounding first names. Ardent lovers of Bollywood classics, our alma mater, cars and all things old school, we had never travelled much together. When I threw him a ball called Istanbul, he was only too happy to catch it, and what followed was a trip at short notice in April 2014. We were a duo on a mission to explore the known and not-so-known jewels of the Turkish capital.
Sultanahmet then, as it is for most visitors, was our choice of area to stay in. It is this part of the city that formed the famed Constantinople, the newer parts of Taksim (the other side of Galata Bridge) and other areas being outliers. It provides convenient access to the major historical points of interest like the Blue Mosque, the famed hamams, Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the basilica-turned-mosque-turned museum, the Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and a myriad other nooks, corners and lanes that titillate a traveller’s impetuosity. We combined our amblings in Sultanahmet with a must-do cruise down the Bosphorus and a walk over to the newer part of the city up via Istiklal Caddesi (Istiklal Avenue) to Taksim Square.
Istanbul is truly a photographer’s playground. It offers everything from the splendour of ancient and medieval history, natural beauty and unparalleled views, to the childish gastronomical excitement courtesy my father’s plates. And, of those, there were many. With his wife not around to keep him in check, Dad went the distance. I, a vegetarian, could only watch.