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Istanbul

Istanbul — the honeyed sound rolls off the tongue like a mystical spell. Gilded domes, glittering minarets, aristocratic pavilions and sultans’ palaces rise amidst a vibrant, über-cool metropolis. An intoxicating fusion of warm spices and Middle Eastern flavors scent the air of an outstanding, contemporary culture, alive with all the bustling background notes of a 21st-century city.

Magnificently Turkish, it’s the only destination on the planet whose footprint spreads across two continents. One embellished slipper firmly planted in Asia, the other testing the cooler waters of Europe, separated by the majestic Bosphoros, seemingly a narrow strait yet a great slice of ocean flowing through the center of this throbbing, colorful city.

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The sumptuous blue tiles that give the mosque its name swathes the interiors with the splendor of the Iznik workshops.

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