Istanbul

Trip Start Oct 13, 2006
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Trip End Nov 01, 2006


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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Woke up (a little late) to a beautiful morning and the three of us wandered off in Sultanahmet (a UNESCO World Heritage site) to do some exploring ...

First on the list was the Aya Sofya or Santa Sofia (in Latin)- Istanbul's most famous monument. Built by Emperor Justinian it was completed in 537 and it reigned as the biggest church in Christendom until the Conquest in 1453. Mehmet the Conqueror had it converted into a mosque and so it remained until 1935 when Atatuk proclaimed it a museum.

It's filled with unbelievable mosaics still in good condition all things considered. In a side aisle is the weeping column with a worn copper facing pierced by a hole. Legend has it that the pillar is that of St Gregory the Miracle Worker and that putting one's finger in the hole can lead to ailments being healed if the finger emerges moist. Didn't have any ailments that I knew of, but a little devine insurance is never a bad thing and I gave it a try!

After all that history we had to get out into the bustle of the city and wandered into the Grand Bazaar. Bazaars count as one of my favourite places to be - filled with a plethora of smells and colours it's real picture taking paradise! Sadly I couldn't afford to buy anyhting, but walking around is still an awesome way to spend an afternoon.

From one bazaar to another - we hit the Spice Bazaar and almost made ourselves sick sampling every imaginable flavour of Turkish Delight. Nothing you could ever buy in the shops could even closely compare to the real stuff. Pistachio flavour definitely rules!!
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