Istanbul: A palace, a cistern, and a dress-up photo shoot | Lisa Hsia

My cousin Alex is responsible for our visit to Istanbul. Months ago — when we came home from Toronto for Gong-Gong’s funeral — we were walking with Alex, after the funeral dinner, and he mentioned that in October he would be going to Istanbul for a wedding. “We should meet up there,” he said, joking probably, and Erik and I looked at each other and said, “Why not?” Last week Alex arrived in Istanbul with a group of friends, and we spent a couple of enjoyable days together before the rest of the group took off to explore Ephesus and Cappadocia. It was very, very good to hang out with people again — and to follow along rather than decide everything for ourselves! Alex’s friends were sightseeing around Istanbul, so we joined them for a day in Sultanahmet, checking out Topkapı Palace and the atmospheric Basilica Cistern.

I don’t think I’d…

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