Like the water, Istanbul never seems to end, stretching to the horizon. Here, Europe meets Asia and the sailboats skim across the glimmering Bosphorus Strait. Architecture of the city – centuries old, perhaps as old as the 7th century BCE – build up on top of each other, ultimately peaking with the gold tipped minarets of various mosques. Since its beginnings, this location (Byzantium – Constantinople – Istanbul) has seen the rise and fall of numerous world powers including the Roman Empire, the Byzantine, the Latin, and the Ottoman, finally establishing itself as a Republic in 1923. And despite the sunshine and the sailboats, one can still feel the heavy echoes of centuries gone, the deepness of culture and memories.