Spring Break: Turkey (Day 12 – Istanbul)

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

We filled our second to last day with as many sights as we could starting with the Blue Mosque that we were unable to visit on our first stop in Istanbul. The architecture was impeccable, especially the ceilings. I enjoyed being inside, but found myself a little underwhelmed by the amount that there was to see apart from the ceilings. I don’t know why but I expected rooms of interesting things to visit…and I expected it to be more…blue.

Beautiful domed ceiling

Beautiful domed ceiling

Headscarfs all around

Headscarfs all around

Obviously following directions...

Obviously following directions…

We could not visit Aya Sophia because it was Monday and it is closed that day so we next headed to Topkapi Palace. We decided to pay the extra fee to see the Harem, which was well worth it.

Great view of the Blue Mosque through the castle gates

Great view of the Blue Mosque through the castle gates

Pillars in the courtyard

Pillars in the courtyard

Very intricate, feminine design in the Harem

Very intricate, feminine design in the Harem

Not one, but two giant beds...the sultan must have had a lot of children

Not one, but two giant beds…the sultan must have had a lot of children

Such detailed stained glass combined with the Arabic writing creating a great statement

Such detailed stained glass combined with the Arabic writing creating a great statement

The favorite wives and concubines help the best rooms overlooking the sea

The favorite wives and concubines help the best rooms overlooking the sea

The next stop of our journey was the Grand Bazaar to pick up some souvenirs and try to haggle a bit. It’s a little overwhelming with everyone trying to get you to purchase something. I’m not the best haggler, so SS helped me get the pair of Turkish baggy pants that I was hoping to find all trip.

Artsy gourd lights in the Grand Bazaar

Artsy gourd lights in the Grand Bazaar

As if this foodie/adventurer vacation couldn’t continue to get better, we found this candy seller in the park making his own toffee. We had to try it and it was well worth it. This fellow spun 5 different flavors together with such artistry that the end product looked like it was factory made. It was dipped in lemon juice at the end, that enhanced the taste. Such an explosion of flavors in one little stick.

Candy seller

Candy seller

As we got tired we decided to explore another rooftop bar and get a view this time of Aya Sophia in the day. And what a view it was. We could not have asked for more, well maybe better service as this pricey place.

Aya Sophia from a roof top bar

Aya Sophia from a roof top bar

We were all traveled out for the day, so we spent the rest of the night smoking hookah and just relaxing before calling it a night.

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