Friday, April 12, 2013


We kicked off the next chapter off our journey in Istanbul, Turkey. It was our first experience in a predominantly Muslim country and we couldn't have felt more welcome. Listening to the enchanting daily calls for prayer bellow through the tall minarets in the ancient city gives one the feeling of being in a truly exotic land.

Pictured above: Blue Mosque

Istanbul's storied past has to rank as one of the most historic and important. Walking through Sultanahmet, the old city, gives one the feeling of being in an enormous museum. The Hagia Sofia church still stands from the time of Josephine, the Roman Emperor in the sixth century. As does a long stretch of road that had been used for chariot races around the same time. Topkopi Palace from the 15th century was the ultimate Ottoman crib with four courtyards, endless elegant rooms, and of course a large Harem.

Pictured above: 1. Domes of Hagia Sophia
2. 12th century mosaic in Hagia Sophia 3. Textured ceiling - Hagia Sophia
4-5. Guards and beautiful hijabs - Topkapi Palace

The salesmen in the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market tried their best to convince us of our immediate need of Turkish Delights, carpets, and fresh saffron.

We toured the Bosphorus Strait on a large ferry which essentially connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Famous palaces and mosques line the busy strait and a scary amount of jellyfish swim in the waters.

For all of it's history the city is not stuck in the past. They have excellent public transportation, trendy styles, and a vibrant night life. We were impressed with the city of 15 million and would encourage anyone to visit.

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