Besides spending several days in Bhutan, my round the world trip included Istanbul. This was my second time in Istanbul. My first time, I spent only about 22 hours there and only saw two things, the Hagia Sofia and the Sultanahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque). On this trip I would be in Istanbul about 5 days.
Istanbul is a city of duality. It is literally where Asia and Europe meet and it is where (middle) eastern and western cultures intersect. I absolutely love the Islamic influence and seeing mosques and hearing the call to prayer, yet the city feels European. The food is incredible and most of the time quite inexpensive.
|Dinner at Loti Cafe at Pierre Loti Hotel right off of Divan Yolu Cd.|
|The famous Galata Tower|
|Amazing Turkish coffee in the Grand Bazaar|
|Sausage sandwich, suçuk, for breakfast in the Grand Bazaar|
|Floor at the Sultanahmet Mosque|
|Prayer on the wall of the Sultanahmet mosque|
|Ceiling of the Sultanahmet mosque|
|Door in Sultanahmet mosque|
|Outside Hagia Sofia|
|Hallway of Hagia Sofia|
|entering Hagia Sofia|
|the main area of Hagia Sofia|
|Christian and Islamic imagery|
|the intersection of Christianity and Islam|
|the washing area outside of Hagia Sofia|
|this is the best fruit juice in the world|
|Medusa's head in basilica cistern|
|looking toward the Galata Tower from a ferry to the Asian side|
|Conrad Istanbul, my hotel|
|bedroom at the Conrad Istanbul|
|Living room at Conrad Istanbul|
|huge bathroom at the Conrad|
|view from Conrad Istanbul|
|outside Dolmabahçe palace|
In order to catch the tram back to the Sultanahmet area or the Old Town from the Conrad, it is a good 20-25 minutes walk. Along the way is a soccer stadium and the famous Dolmabaçhe palace.
The Topkapi palace is another famous attraction. It is a museum that houses all kinds of historical artifacts including relics of the prophets Mohammed and Moses. There is geometry everywhere too.
|typical window at Topkapi palace|
|apartments at Topkapi palace|
|from Hanedan restaurant in Besiktas|