It was with great anticipation that my husband and I embarked on our journey to Istanbul. Although it is technically not within the European region, but well, we did explore the European side of Istanbul, hence the inclusion here ;P
There were so much that Istanbul has to offer but for this entry, I will be focusing on the highlight of the trip - the visit to the mosques! Having mainly only seeing cathedrals while travelling within Europe, the sight of the grand and majestic mosques were quite refreshing to both of us. I can still remember how funny we must have appeared to the locals when we both stood rooted to the ground, with mouths wide open, staring in awe at the grand Hagia Sophia when we alighted at the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. We have seen some mosque in our previous travels, however, this was the first time that we came across not one, but two awe-inspiring mosques located within walking distance of each other - the famous Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque of Istanbul!
During this trip, we visited Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque and Little Hagia Sophia Mosque. Hagia Sophia was once a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica which was later converted to an imperial mosque and is currently a museum in Istanbul, hence traces of the Christian faith could be found in this former mosque. When we were there, it was a pity that half of the buidling was under reconstruction. However, despite this, it was still a pleasure to walk through the different available zones and admire the brillant architecture and the beautiful mosaics that adorned this magnificent place!
|Entrance to Suleymaniye Mosque|
All in all, the beautiful architecture has certainly left a deep impression on us during this trip to Istanbul. We certainly hope to explore more of Turkey in the future when the opportunity arises. Till then, let me reminisce about the wonderful time we spent in Istanbul!