Sunday, May 1, 2011

first day in Istanbul: the rest of the story

After seeing the Hagia Sophia, we walked around a lot and decided to have a bit of a rest before going out for the afternoon. Our first post-rest stop was the Blue Mosque, which isn't a museum but a proper mosque, so we had to take off our shoes and I had to cover my head. Only the men get to pray in the huge central space; it looked like women stayed on the periphery, behind a screen. The mosque is gorgeous, very ornate in a different way than the Hagia Sophia. Prettier, in a way, but less magnificent. There are four giant pillars supporting the dome, unlike the pillar-less Hagia Sophia.

it really is spectacular -- as gorgeous on the outside as Hagia Sophia is on the inside
the front gate, facing the Hippodrome

the dome, obviously -- delicately beautiful

the tiles on the columns and around the windows are blue.....beautiful

It had such a different feeling than the Hagia Sophia (which I prefer). Still -- I'm so glad we saw it. Then we wandered over to the Galata Bridge area, to the Egyptian Spice Market, which was next to another beautiful mosque. The Spice Market was a scene, very crowded, and much bigger than I had the fortitude to wander through. We kind of walked through, in and out, without delving into the interior:

this mosque is next to the Spice Market. It was covered in birds.
We killed a little time, then went to the #1 rated restaurant in Istanbul, according to Trip Advisor. Not according to us -- our meal last night was so much better! The food was mediocre, not even worth talking about here. Our plan for tomorrow includes a boat tour of the Bosphorus, which should be fun, especially since the weather is supposed to be beautiful.

There's a hysterical thing here -- spirographs! There are so many men with little tables, making spirograph drawings all day long. They're really just trying to sell small kits of the spirograph wheels, but they stand there, making one after another twirly twirly twirly multi-colored spirograph pictures. It's so funny. And we saw this today, which also made me laugh. It was a couple doors down from a Burger King -- I didn't notice which one had more business:

Having such a great time....

1 comment:

  1. I saw a shop for Saffron! Oh, be still my heart. Lovely photos of the Mosque!


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