Istanbul Violet Apartments
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Today we hit the big three......Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Chora Church. In the middle was a visit to Taksim Square and the new Istanbul for a lunch break. So let's get started!!! The Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century as a response to the immense Hagia Sophia across the way. It was built in just seven years. Over 20,000 tiles were used to decorate the inside, which are all shades of blue. Hence the name! Today it is run ...
... Sultan controlled who would bear the Sultan's children.
We also went through the Imperial Treasury seeing fantastic displays of wealth; gold and jewel encrusted thrones, an 86 carat diamond, emeralds the size of a baby's fist, gold candlesticks that weighed 100lbs each, gold covered cradle and the Topkapi dagger.
We also saw the Hall of Holy Relics and the Costume and Textile display. Photographs were forbidden.
All the spaces that ...
... managed to get less than an hour of sleep. There was a ranting drunk guy in the same row as me. I saw him passed out in the business class section as I got off the plane.
Arrival in Istanbul was at 6:45 am local time after gaining 2 hours on the flight from TBS to IST. I got my $20 visa to visit Turkey and then got thru passport control and collected my bag. I used public transport to get to the old town. It was fairly straightforward to take the Metro/Subway ...
... a creamy risotto something that tasted a little bit like maple syrup. That had some spiced chicken and peppers on top with a side of rice. The combination of flavors was so new to me and I can say I am definitely a fan. For desert we had a cake/custard (it sounds weird, I know, just go with it) that had a chocolate fudge on the bottom and a rich vanilla tasting super thick custard with these little crunchy toppings. Needless to say I was busting out of my pants and ...
... of the spice market, the call of the muezzin (now over loud speakers), the ships heading off in all directions and the secretive women in their dark burkas....added to cell phones and scantily clothed tourists makes for an assault on the senses.
Tomorrow we are going on a cruise of the Bosphorus by local ferry then the next day we are off to Cappadocia. Tonight we are going to find some street food and a cold local beer.
Gotta love retirement.