Old is a relative term.
Back home in Georgia, old means a century. Here in Istanbul, old means a millenium — give or take.
So, when I say that we are staying in Fatih, an old part of Istanbul, I mean Roman column old.
Istanbul is actually a province divided into municipalities of which Fatih is but one. Last year, we stayed in the municipality of Üsküdar on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Strait; the year before in Beyoglu, which, like Fatih, is on the European side of this great province straddling two worlds.
Fatih is home to the provincial authorities, e.g., governor’s office, police headquarters, etc., and encompasses the peninsula which was historic Constantinople.
Fatih isn’t just old, it’s ancient.
In addition to a Roman column, our first stroll around the neighborhood where we’re staying revealed the remains of an aqueduct, the Valens Aqueduct, bordering the Saraçhane Park which commemorates the capture of Constantinople, and the downfall of the Roman Empire to the Ottomans on May 29, 1453.
No matter the neighborhood, the Bosphorus is never very far away. Like any sailing man, my sweet husband is drawn to it. Today, we took the ferry across and sat topside to take in the crisp air and marvel at a sky whose blue mirrored that of the water.
Soaking up the warm sun, we fondly recalled another sea lover, Captain Mike Cummins, who left this earth yesterday. Rest well, Captain Mike.