Made a stop in what was once Constantinople for a few days just to check it out. With over 2500 years of history, Istanbul is an intensely interesting and a very alive modern city. Couchsurfing and hostels were a great way to meet people and get ideas for seeing the city. While having dinner and tea one evening in Taksim Square riots broke out in the city. Soon there were riot police sweeping through the streets. A young boy who had been in a coma (the result of being struck in the head by a police tear gas canister months before...while protesting the police) had just died in the hospital which incited more protest and riots all over the city. Visiting the Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque and the Spice Bazaar were exceptional, however I found that just wandering through the city, having tea, watching people go about their business and daily lives and fisherman over the Bosphorus to be the real highlight. With so much history, culture, and diversity Istanbul makes for an incredibly interesting place to say the least.