Blue Mosque / Hagia Sophia
After a good nights sleep we caught up on some school work in the morning before heading out 1300 for the Blue Mosque. Caught the metro around and was greeted by the beautiful area of Sultanahmet Istanbul, so nice we were sucked into this picturesque lane way lined with flash restaurants. We decided to lash out and had a feed, then made our way across to the Blue Mosque. The queue to get in was long so we had a 15-20 minute wait. The girls got their supplied head pieces (we keep forgetting to pack our own), removed shoes and we entered.
We were all completely blown away by how big the place was. Truly spectacular, awesome, the size, the architecture, attention to detail, even the carpet that we sat on impressed us.
We spent 40 minutes, taking our time, just checking it all out and watching people strolling through. Not too many people here to pray, compared to how many we saw at the New Mosque. Definitely a lot bigger and more grand than the New Mosque but not as personnel as our local New Mosque, maybe just too many tourists. Anyway we made our way out and moved over to Hagia Sophia.
We were pretty happy with the Blue Mosque but when we finally got into Hagia Sophia we were totally blown away. You really cannot grasp how enormous this structure is, also considering it was built so long ago, until you enter the main hall. Again the architecture and attention to detail along with the variety of materials used, such as the sandstone block carvings, the marble and the mosaics on the upper level were truly amazing. That’s one thing that surprised me, the mosaics of Jesus Christ and Mary in a Mosque. We found out that it was once a Christian Church and then a Mosque and now a Museum.
After a couple hours in Hagia Sophia I also found out that it was nominated but did not make the 7 Wonders shortlist. Summer just rolls her eyes now when I get excited about the many bucket lists I am compiling in my head. We walked back over the hill, past the Grand Bazaar, through the spice markets and back to our local area for some dinner. I have noticed local Turkish dishes don’t run too many sauces or dips with their food and so it consists of meat, bread and salad. Nice change from Asian food but I think I was enjoying the spices and flavours in India and Sri Lanka more.