Old, old buildings
Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
190Trip End Jun 28, 2009
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Where I stayed
On the bottom floor, there were shops and restaurants. You could see all the fishermen's lines hanging down from above if you walked on the sides and you could see down the Bosphurus.
We walked up the hill and went to see the Haghia Sophia. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city and was first built in the 4th century by the Romans as the biggest cathedral in the area and then it was rebuilt in the 6th century when the Ottomans conquered the Romans and turned it into a mosque. It was huge, with amazing mosaics and huge columns. I can't believe it was built in only four years by the Romans. Emperor Justinian wanted to have the biggest church around and there was even a door that only the Emperor could walk through
Then we went to the Basilica Cistern, which is a huge underground reservoir that was also built by the Romans in the 4th century to supply water to the city. At the back of the cistern are two Medusa heads. No one knows why they are there. There are a couple of stories. One is that they were brought to keep away bad spirits. One of the Medusa heads is upside down but no one knows why. There are at least two myths about Medusa. One is that she was in love with Perseus, the son of Zeus and that Athena was jealous because she also loved Perseus, so she turned Medusa's hair into snakes. Anyone who looked at Medusa was then turned into stone. In one of the myth's, Perseus then cuts off Medusa's head and carries it on his voyages, showing it in battles to turn his enemies into stone. Turkish soldiers use to put Medusa heads on the end of their swords.We had hot chocolate in the underground cafe.
After that, we took the tram back to the hotel and went for a swim. It was cold outside but the pool was warm! Tonight, Lu and I got to stay at the hotel with a babysitter while my parents went out to a business dinner.