Tour Time in Turkey

After spending the first day acclimating to the time change, it was time to take an official tour of incredible Istanbul.

Our guide gave us the following warning, “Pedestrians beware, traffic lights are for decoration only!”  Glad we were on a bus tour.

These first pictures are from the old city walls of Constantinople, constructed in the 6th century AD. In 1201 the Byzantine’s restored the walls to stop the Crusaders.Our first stop was the Hippodrome of Constantinople. This is the German Fountain used to gather rain water and its beautiful ceiling.We entered the Sultan Ahmed, popularly known as the Blue Mosque. This remarkable mosque started construction in 1609 and was completed in 1616. These are pictures of the dome ceiling inside the mosque.  Just spectacular.

It was a short walk to our next stop, Hagia Sophia. On the way, I couldn’t help myself, these Asian crows were everywhere.  They are much like our crows, in that they are everywhere. They are a little smaller, but distinctively different in their coloring.

There are carts all over town with vendors selling grilled corn on the cob and chestnuts.  This guy got lucky! Just like at home, where there are birds, there are cats.  The cats are all over the city, found both outside and inside. I’m sure they take care of any pest problems in an instant! Hagia Sophia.From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from May 29, 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on February 1, 1935.

Once again our eyes are stunned by the beautfiul ceilings.Worshipers still come to pray here.

One of the first things we learned about was the public address system being used for the call to prayer, it can be heard across the old part of the city and is echoed by other mosques in the vicinity 5 times a day. We can even hear it inside our hotel room.

Once we left this area we were headed back to the Spice Bazaar.  I will bring you those sights the next time!

Here is a sneak peak. My favorite new candy…Turkish Delights!