Istanbul is all I imagined and more. I’ve seen most of the major tourist sights with Aya Sofya and Rustem Pasa Mosque being my favourites. I could easily stay here on a low budget as the neighborhoods are fascinating, so many with their own personality. I’m staying at a hamam/hostel in the neighborhood of Cihangir. It is surrounded by antique stores, coffee shops, a delicious bakery with the most delicious simit (kind of like a bagel with lots of sesame seeds), fresh pomegranate juice stands, you can probably tell why I’m having a love affair with this place.
Its off to Mardin I go tomorrow, experience some Kurdish culture, visit more beautiful mosques (my admiration has not waned yet), see the old city and one of the oldest monasteries in the world, the heartland of Mesopotamia long ago!
In the meantime, enjoy these pics of Istanbul. I’m disappointed my phone didnt wirk in Safranbolu so you will have to see those pictures later.
Aya Sofya, was once an Orthodox church, then a mosque, and finally Ataturk made it a museum.
Blue Mosque, was a tad disappointed, the colours werent as vibrant as I expected, high expectations, that’ll teach me.
Janissary soldiers marching band from Ottomans, they call it Mehter
Galata Bridge views
And just piddling around