The pile on board. The red leather seats patched with tape. The uplift of wash as the chugging Clydeside engines, 50 years after they were built, pull you away from (in old money) Asia Minor.
Listen to the cries of white coated waiters cry, "Chi! Chi! Chi!". Buy a tea for God's sake! It's their living! Add plenty of sugar. Buy a Simit; Sesame seeded bread. If it's cold, purchase a salep with cinnamon on top. It has the look and consistency of...eh...but tastes GRRREEEAATTT!
And then, the best bit.
Watch the European side hove into view. Aya Sofia, The Mahvi Cami, the bustle of old Istanbul. And if you can be bothered, do it as the sun rises. From Asia to Europe. The finest commute. Ever.
"I have surpassed thee, Solomon!" Reputedly the words of the Byzantine emperor Justinian on completion of his architectural pierce de resistance. Talk about urban renewal. In this Sceptered Isle in the middle of the 6th-century AD we weren't even building in brick, let alone creating a dome unsurpassed for a thousand years.
There's plenty of books to describe the remarkable history that took place within it. If you can be bothered to read up, try John Julius Norwich if you want the building to speak to you. However, if you don't have opposable thumbs, just marvel at its sheer architectural genius. Church of the Divine Wisdom with added minarets - have it.
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com