It has changed enormously – boutique hotels, cappuccinos, shopping arcades with fixed prices, none of these had been available in 1982. The Pudding Shop is still there, but now celebrates its infamous past with a sign that says "The World Famous Pudding Shop" and a photo that shows Bill Clinton visiting the restaurant. Inside, its walls are decorated with black and white photos of the long-haired clientele in the 1970s and '80s, when everything was available for a price. In other words, The Pudding Shop has become a museum of itself. I looked in vain for photos of a young Irishman with a beard and Jimi Hendrix hairstyle.
But the incredible friendliness and hospitality of the locals has not changed and the ancient sites are of course still there and the views in the centre of the old European quarters are more or less the same as they have been for centuries. In 1982 the Galata Tower was closed to visitors. Now, two lifts whisk visitors to the viewing platform on this 15th century monument to Italian renaissance architecture. The views from the tower are, well, you can judge for yourself.
This view shows the Bosphorus on the left and the Sea of Marmara in the far distance. The coast on the far left, across the Bosphorus, is Asia. The water in the foreground is the Golden Horn. In the centre, amidst the small wood, one can see the Topkapi Palace, home to the Sultans from the 15th until the 19th centuries. To the right one can see the Aya Sophia, built as the biggest church in the world in the 6th century, changed to a mosque in the 15th (when it acquired its four minarets), converted into a museum in the 20th century.
Here is a close-up of the Aya Sophia.
And a little distance to its right, below is a view of the Blue Mosque, the only mosque in the world outside of Medina to have six minarets (two more than the whole of Switzerland, but the Swiss have decided that that is too much and have banned the contsruction of anymore).
Below is a shot of Galata itself, the medieval, Genoan part of town, with the Galata Bridge spanning the Golden Horn. To the far left, the Topkapi Place, the Aya Sophia to its right and the Blue Mosque further to the right. As you can see, Istanbul is a city of minarets. On the far side of the bridge, slightly to the left, The New Mosque. ("New" as in 17th century.)
Here is the view further up the Golden Horn.
Below is the Süleymaniye Mosque across the Golden Horn.
And finally, a different view. Below is a view up the Bosphorus, towards the Black Sea. In the distance you can see one of the two bridges that span the continents of Europe and Asia. Can anyone guess from which point this last photo was taken?