Hope you enjoyed the Africa pictures, because now it's time for a very small taste of Turkey. (We scheduled a two-day layover in Istanbul on our way home from Uganda.)
Istanbul was colder than I anticipated, but 100% amazing anyway. First of all, it was beautiful. The city was an interesting mix of European (reminded me a lot of Serbia actually - except wealthier) and Eastern styles. The architecture, the call to prayer, the Bosporus filled with boats, the hills - just beautiful.
Second, it was extremely accessible, even without knowing a word of Turkish (though I do now know hello and thank you). The pictures below are from the heavily touristy part of the old city where all the student hostels are. It's really a fantastic location. I think we paid 12 euros a night and had our own room two blocks from the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque. It was also walking distance to the Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace. For the things that were further away there were ferries or the tram and both were really cheap.
Finally, even if we had been timid travelers Istanbul would have been an easy place to visit. Unlike Uganda there were plenty of ATMs everywhere, we didn't have to worry about the water making us ill, the showers were hot - they even had sidewalks(!) Not to say that I didn't like Uganda, just that Istanbul also had it's perks.
In short, it's another place I'd love to visit again. (Or bid on, of course.)