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Istanbul, Day 1

September 15, 2006
I forgot to change the time on the camera… So I guess I’ll post according to “date taken” on the EXIF data.

Having arrived at the airport, a van from the hotel picked us up. The drive to the our hotel was splendid, driving along the coast, across the Bosphorous, and towards Sultanahmet. The hotel was located just a few minutes walk from the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii, the latter word being pronounced “Jamee”). It being late afternoon by the time we got settled in, we decided to talk a short walk around the neighborhood and to visit the Blue Mosque and vicinity. This, of course, after a generous offer of Turkish tea from the hotel folks 🙂

We wandered around Sultanahmet Square, with random shops lining the streets. There was this particular street where we found a couple of kittens with their mother cat, and every day we would pass by this street, we’d watch their antics for a while. The cats would sleep on the little pillow covers and rugs that were being sold, and the owners didn’t seem to care:

cats on pillowcases

The colors that you saw within the stores and storefronts were spectacular, like the collection of children’s shoes or the hanging glass lamps:

children’s shoes

glass lamps

We walked around a little more, with the Blue Mosque always within sight. Opposite from the Blue Mosque, across a cute little park, was the Haghia Sophia, a Byzantine Church that was later converted to a mosque. For some reason, one of the minarets is made of brick, but I haven’t figured out why yet.

haghia sophia

And then we were tired so we went back to the hotel; this short trip certainly did whet our appetite for all the goodies to come later!!! More tomorrow 🙂

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