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I guess you all know by now that we will have a quick trip to ISTANBUL, TURKEY. It is a fascinating place and I've been dreaming of seeing it for my self ever since. I finally got to tick it off my bucket list when I made a trip there in November 2014.
HERE WE GO . . .
The hotel I booked was in an area called Sultanhamet - just at the back of the Blue Mosque. It is the old part of Istanbul filled with these beautiful wooden houses most of which have now been converted to small hotels.
Since the Blue Mosque is very near (there's actually a great view from the hotel) it was the first place I explored. It is called the Blue Mosque because all the beautiful tiles inside are blue. According to the guide inside the mosque, the name TURKEY is actually derived from turquoise or blue. Makes sense
Here's a photo of the Blue Mosque at night:
Across the Blue Mosque is the historical Hagia Sophia. It was once the palace of the great Roman Emperor Constantine (hence the name Constantinople) and the palace was then occupied by the Muslims and went through great transformation. I wish I could post all the photos here but for today, I'm using this photo that I took from inside the Hagia Sophia looking out to the Blue Mosque:
One of the things I found really amazing about Istanbul is how the people take care of stray cats and dogs. They are all over the city (especially the cats) and they all look very well fed even if they live on the streets. Here's a couple of friends I got acquainted with
I saw him/her near the archaeological museum.
One of the best treats in Istanbul is food. Here's a lady preparing fresh bread in a restaurant very close to the Topkapi Palace:
An inside the restaurant and cafes, I saw many interesting people:
I like the "drama" in this shot.
More to come . . .