Emma Saray Boutique Hotel
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- Pets allowed
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... Justinian rebuilt it and named it Hagia Sophia in 537 (took only 5 years to build). Pretty impressive history huh :-)
There was some touch ups going on inside, so scaffolding filled half of the church, but we still got a great view of the place. The church was later converted into a mosque in 1453 by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. We found it quite interesting how they kept a lot of the Christian art work and just added the Muslim bits and pieces when converting it to a mosque. It ...
... it through all three with the kids and without too much complaining. Well, okay, Elias needed some cajoling after an hour of being in the Topkopi Palace. He does not yet appreciate the concept of the harem (see note below) nor the importance of Prophet Muhammad’s relics, including a bit of his beard. (We’re thinking of cutting some of Alex’s beard and encasing it in Lucite for posterity. Of course, some of us are thinking of cutting off all of ...
... pointy butts. It was strange.
Next, we passed into the second courtyard. The first building we visited is where secret meeting were held. Both inside and outside, there were taps with running water, which would be turned on to prevent people from eavesdropping.
In this courtyard, we visited the treasure rooms. So many jewel-encrusted everything. Mostly ewers and boxes, made out of jade, rock crystal, and zinc. Some had large emeralds or rubies … and ...
... to throw boxes of fat-laden scraps to dozens of felines so the manufactured cuisine won't cut it unless the cats are truly starving. Grown men take time out of their masculine conversations with male peers to coo at the kittens. A person can't walk two doors down without seeing, or nearly stepping on, a milk gallon re-purposed as a cat food bowl. If it takes a village to raise a child in the U.S., then it takes a community in Istanbul to raise a litter of Felis ...
... some Turkish wine.On the roof, we watched the sunset and sat back to witness the crazy Istanbul driver vs pedestrian traffic. Near closing time we talked to our bartender who was born in Turkey yet lived in the U.S. for 10 years. He was a delight to talk to and even gave us wine, fruit, and muffins on the house! The Turkish people could not have been nicer and we already want to come back! Great night! Love you all....see you in ...