Entry #08: One week in Istanbul

Istanbul Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 46 › view all entries
The Aya Sophia church-turned-Mosque!
Istanbul is incredible!  The city bustles with so many people.  You can feel the pulse as you walk anywhere.  I stayed in the old quarter on the European side in an area called Sultanahmet.  My hotel was around the corner from the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque.  The Aya Sofia was the largest church outside the Vatican and built in 542 AD!!  But, in 1473, the Ottomans came and converted it to a mosque.  As you can see in my photos, the Muslim artwork is simply laid on top of the Christian paint.  In some places, the 1,500 year old Christian paint now shows again!!
 
Directly across from the Aya Sofia - staring down at it's face is the famous Blue Mosque - a mesmerizingly enormous mosque with 6 spires.
The muslim paint OVER the christian artwork!
  It is the only mosque in the world outside of Mecca that has 6 spires.
 
I spent one week in Istanbul, relaxing in my beautiful hotel and explore leisurely with NO pressure.  I ate slow meals and toured historical sites.  The people we much more friendly and helpful than I had imagined.  I spent much of my time visiting the areas of Taksim and Sulthanamet.  I shopped in the crazy OLD BAZAAR and the SPICE BAZAAR.  I didn't realize I was such a 'shopper' until I had to ship a 10kg box home.  I even took a Turkish bath in a 1,500 year old marble Hamam!  It was quite an experience.  I felt like a true Sultan - though I had no harem....
 
Istanbul is inundated with monstrous mosques that create a mezmerizing horizon from every angle.  The sunlight at dusk creates a magical feeling in the air - one that you can't help but be reminded of every evening as the call-to-prayer begins.  Sometimes it feels as though the mosques are competing with one another as they all call-to-prayer at the same time, always blasting over their loud speakers placed strategically on the tops of their spires.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Istanbul - and in Turkey altogether.  Now, I am preparing for the next phase of my journey, as I am soon leaving for India......
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The Aya Sophia church-turned-Mosqu…
The Aya Sophia church-turned-Mosq…
The muslim paint OVER the christia…
The muslim paint OVER the christi…
inside the Aya Sophia
inside the Aya Sophia
inside the Aya Sophia
inside the Aya Sophia
from the Aya Sophia
from the Aya Sophia
The incredible Aya Sophia in Istan…
The incredible Aya Sophia in Ista…
The Aya Sophia
The Aya Sophia
Car-sized marble bowl
Car-sized marble bowl
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul
from the Bosphorus.
from the Bosphorus.
Taksim view from the Bosphorus
Taksim view from the Bosphorus
The famous Spice Bazaar!
The famous Spice Bazaar!
A few spices...
A few spices...
My favorite view of the Blue Mosqu…
My favorite view of the Blue Mosq…
The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque
The Topkapi Palace Harem
The Topkapi Palace Harem
The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque
The amazing Blue Mosque
The amazing Blue Mosque
washing before prayers at the Blue…
washing before prayers at the Blu…
Shadows inside the Topkapi Palace…
Shadows inside the Topkapi Palace…
Hotel Kybele: the ceiling of my ho…
Hotel Kybele: the ceiling of my h…
my hotel lounge
my hotel lounge
hotel Kybele lounge
hotel Kybele lounge
Hotel Kybele lobby
Hotel Kybele lobby
Rooftop of Hotel Kybele
Rooftop of Hotel Kybele
Hotel Kybele entrance
Hotel Kybele entrance
Ortakoy!
Ortakoy!
arriving at Ortakoy
arriving at Ortakoy
The day Turkey invaded the Kurds i…
The day Turkey invaded the Kurds …
inside the Blue Mosque
inside the Blue Mosque
more military today!
more military today!
Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace
Shadows inside Topkapi Palace
Shadows inside Topkapi Palace
My bedroom! (kidding).  The Harem …
My bedroom! (kidding). The Harem…
Harem room...
Harem room...
Harems bedroom #1
Harem's bedroom #1
Mansions on the Bosphorus
Mansions on the Bosphorus
chilling in Ortakoy
chilling in Ortakoy
Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee
Making a Turkish carpet.
Making a Turkish carpet.
Shopping at the Grand Bazaar.
Shopping at the Grand Bazaar.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar
outside the Bazaar
outside the Bazaar
Im a shopper.
I'm a shopper.
on the Bosphorus
on the Bosphorus
Mansions on the Bosphorus
Mansions on the Bosphorus
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
Pigeons in Ortakoy
Pigeons in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
in a Mosque in Ortakoy
Istanbul
photo by: Memo