Huge, noisy; from the loud speakers on the minarets to traffic to people noise to road repair and construction. Honking horns is a way of life/driving here. The call to prayer might have been quite musical until they started adding loudspeakers to the minarets.
We only saw 1 small part of the city – the tourist area which is also the main historical area. It would have been interesting to see other areas, but business districts are the same everywhere as are the nightclub areas, so maybe we got what we came for.
I missed one site – did not get to walk across the Galata Bridge and eat a fish sandwich. Ah well. I’m also glad I saw Istanbul before the next big earthquake hits. Looking at the news on the computer last night, I was surprised to learn that the city sits right on top of a major fault line and that it’s overdue for a large shake. When that arrives, the destruction will be horrific.