Saturday, November 5, 2011

Istanbul day 1

So one quick item on the flight. I am used to sitting next to men that take up more then their fair share of the space on a plane, but yesterday was the first time hat I had that problem with a woman. She kept elbowing me and just invading my space. So annoying.

(side bar, the iPad is the best tour book EVER!!!!!)

So far (and I am waiting for prayer to be over at the Blue Mosque) I have really enjoyed Istanbul. It is an old lady of a city, that has grace, charm and enough grit to keep her interesting. I started the day going or a walk along the water. It was interesting to see all the ships that were heading in or out of port. I then meandered a bit and finally entered Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia was beautiful. Not quite breathtaking like the first time I saw the David in Florence but close. The mosaic, stone and art work were amazing. Then there is the whole architectural feat of building the thing. There were two things that made me sad. First, and I have the same issues at St. Paul's at the Vatican, look at all the money that was spent on a place when it could have been helping people. Yes places of worship are important, but they did not need to be this elaborate. Then again the world would be missing great beauty if these places did not exist. The second point hat made me said was seeing a Christian church, and all the symbolism and substance overlaid by Muslim symbolism. I know that to the victors go the spoils, but it still makes me sad.

Ok, off to do more stuff..........will return.

I also went to the Cisterns. They were very cool, especially the Medusa heads. It is interesting to see how older cultures and civilizations gathered water to support its citizens.

So getting in the mosque will have to happen tomorrow. I did go to the Topkapi Palace. It was amazing but I could tell that I am/was getting tired. So I stopped for lunch and to check into the hotel. I am getting organized before I head out for more walking about as I head to Goreme tomorrow. I will say, I may avoid the red eye in the future so I do not crash mid day.

BTW, I have lived in Doha too long as I am cold. I thought traveling from Houston was bad. :)

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