Amid the teeming bustle of Istanbul's overall population of 13 million people there is yet a darkly quiet place to find serenity.
Much of the time you must turn your head sideways to view Istanbul's impressive architecture in entirety if close; around the thoroughfares you strain your eyes to find the end of traffic overflowing with countless vehicles; you cover your ears from the unpleasant horns of impatient drivers; and you try hard not to curse the motorbikes abruptly appearing behind you on the sidewalks.
On the other hand, you enjoyathan, a powerful and melodic call to prayer, emanating from imposing mosques with endless domes and minarets. You hear street sellers shouting "sıcak simit" (hot simit) at the top of their lungs. You enjoy the smell of simit - a coiled sesame bread ring like a bagel (and maybe its inspiration – and a plethora of other foods sold all around this great city.