Istanbul – The modern day Byzantine/Ottoman’s Constantinople … [Turkey]

Truly historical … That was the over-riding thought while I explored Istanbul and its suburbs. As we all know, lately, there has been some security issues. I hope it does not prevent tourists from enjoying this magnificent city. Most of the prime sights are in the Old Town and can be traversed by foot.

Cuisine-wise also, it was a great experience (I have a separate blog on the Turkish culinary adventure). “Turkish Delights” and “Baklava” … Yum! 🙂

It was cloudy and rainy on most of the days we were there and you can see it reflected in the photographs. Considering that we were quite close to Asia and considering that it was Spring, I was surprised by the chilly weather. We ended up having to buy scarfs to keep us warm (on top of the jackets).

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Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts – Worth a visit … The section with the carpets is very interesting …
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Obelisk of Theodosius … At the Hippodrome. Erected during early 15th Century.
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The iconic “Blue Mosque” … Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It was quite crowded when we went …
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Sultan Ahmed Mosque … It started raining while we were there. We used that time to explore the interiors.
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The intricate ceiling of Sultan Ahmed Mosque …
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Hagia Sophia … The original structure was built under order of Justinian I (Roman Emperor), and later turned into a mosque, when it was captured by the Ottomans. Restoration work was going on while we were there.
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Hagia Sophia has been around since 4th Century … And it shows 🙂 Also, you can see Christian and Islamic influences all around.

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Hagia Sophia … Pronounced “Aya Sofia”. A must-visit in Istanbul. 
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Hagia Sophia … From outside.
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The “Blue Mosque” (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) … I just wished it was a sunny day 🙂
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Taksim Square … It is a way off from the Old Town center. Local transit is required to get close to the Square. The Monument of the Republic, crafted by Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica.
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Galata Tower … The neighborhood is a nice area for a stroll. Since the queue for getting to the top was too long, we skipped that.
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Süleymaniye Mosque … From the Galata Bridge. Galata Bridge has several eateries and food stalls, especially ones selling the awesome Balık Ekmek (Mackeral sandwich)
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The beautiful Süleymaniye Mosque … 
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Spices galore … @Grand Bazaar. Grand Bazaar is a must-visit place in Istanbul. For souvenir-hunters, it is pure heaven.
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A souvenir-hunter’s paradise … Grand Bazaar.
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“Turkish Delights” !!!!!! I had it every day and enjoyed it a lot 🙂

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Basilica Cistern … An underground cistern, which has been around since the 3rd/4th century. Due to the poor lighting, I could not manage good picture …
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Topkapi Palace … It is huge and will take hours to explore fully.
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Tulips are all over Istanbul … Topkapi Palace has several gardens which are dominated by Tulips, like this one.
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The intricate base of the Obelisk of Theodosius … Roman Emperor Constantius II had it transported from Rome.

 

 

 

Adios!

 

 

 

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