Day eight: Wednesday, August 29: Istanbul, Turkey

Today we took a self-guided tour of Istanbul with our friends Bill and Kevin.  We walked from the port over the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn, which is what separates Europe from Asia.  I noticed that women were more traditionally dressed and some wore burkahs.  We made our way to the Blue Mosque, which was built in 1609 and is still used as a mosque today.  The Blue Mosque is beautiful with high ceilings and stained glass windows.  We then took the short walk to the Hagia Sophia, which was built as a mosque in the sixth century.  The Hagia Sophia features well preserved mosaics and impressive marble decorations.  We stopped for lunch at a traditional Turkish restaurant that featured excellent Wi-Fi.  The first question I asked as we approached was ‘do you have Wi-Fi?’  After Wi-Fi was confirmed we then looked at the menu:)

After a nice lunch and the ability to re-connect and share with the outside world, we headed to the Grand Bazaar.  This incidentally is the real Grand Bazaar; the one I mentioned in my Kusadasi post is certainly a nice shopping area, but does not compare to the actual Grand Bazaar here in Istanbul.  The bazaar consists of over 4,000 shops selling everything from food to clothing, shoes, jewelry to toys and textiles.

We enjoyed a relaxing dinner in the Tuscan Grille, one of the ships specialty restaurants with Warren and Ed, who recently relocated to San Diego from the WashingtonD.C. area.  The view from the restaurant included the Galata Bridge which featured animated lights that changed colors.

Blue Mosque 1

Blue Mosque ceiling

Blue Mosque ceiling close up

Blue Mosque exterior 1

Blue Mosque stained glass close up

Blue Mosque stained glass windows

Istanbul Blue Mosque

Hagia Sophia altar 2

Hagia Sophia angel

Hagia Sophia ceiling 1

Hagia Sophia dome from second floor

Hagia Sophia entrance

Hagia Sophia exterior

Hagia Sophia fresco 1

Hagia Sophia fresco 1 close up

Hagia Sophia looking toward altar from second floor

Hagia Sophia spires

Hagia Sophia waiting to pray area

Matt, Jared Hagia Sophia second floor

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar, interior

Grand Bazaar, interior 2

Istanbul 1

Istanbul 2

Istanbul 3



























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