I'm just back from a week-and-a-half in Bulgaria, Romania, and Moldova, with a final night layover in Istanbul. A number of articles will emerge from the trip and I'll link to all of them in time. In Istanbul, I stayed in Kadiköy and took the ferry to Eminönü in order to spend time wandering around Sultanahmet. Traversing the city by water was uplifting, ethereal, and kind of magical. I realized with a mild feeling of shame that I hadn't done any real planning or research on my visit to what is very possibly one of the world's greatest cities. The thing is this: Istanbul is spellbinding, and walking around with no purpose and no agenda on a cloudy day with intermittent rain was the perfect, if melancholy, way to end a glorious trip. Here are a few images of Istanbul.