Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Highlights of Istanbul, Turkey

We took a shuttle from our ship to downtown Istanbul. (It was $10 roundtrip). This is a large city with many people. We headed for the Blue Mosque which was most impressive.

 Although there was a long line it moved quickly. Ladies knees and arms must be covered before entering. There was a woman handing out shawls at the door if needed. Everyone also had to take off their shoes.

The inside of the mosque with its many blue tiles.

From there we walked to Hagia Sophia which was the largest church in the world for 1000 years. It then was a mosque and is now a museum.

Harem skirts for sale.

 Nearby was the Topkapi Palace which used to be the home of the sultans.
We entered through the cannon gate.

The Ottomans while constructing this palace left great gardens in the middle and built palace buildings around them.

Anyone know what he was guarding? He was taking his job very seriously as one in our group tried to get closer to take a picture and this guy approaches him
with his machine gun.

We had a lunch of chicken crepes at an outdoor restaurant. While there we heard the call to prayer over the loud speakers from the mosques. They stop and pray 5 times a day.

We walked through part of the Grand Bazaar but one can easily get lost here. There are about 3500 shops with 18 gates to enter or depart through. It was very crowded and hot. They were selling carpets, jewelry and scarves as well as many other items. One of the popular items were the woven bookmarks as they were easy to pack.

A day here is not enough and I feel we only scratched the surface. But we are in for a real treat tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment