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Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Touristic Day in Istanbul

DcMcD Photo.  Copyright 2010, All rights reserved.
It was Friday the 10th of December, 2010.

On my way from Cluj to visit Selcuk ("Cell-chuck") University in Konya, Turkey, I scheduled a 12-hour layover in Istanbul.  This gave me time to tour the Old City.  At the airport's Hertz counter, I arranged for a private guided tour.  We stopped first at a fish market that we passed on the shores of the Sea of Marmara (Marble Sea), on the way into town from the airport

Entrance to Hagia Sophia

Thereafter, I walked for four or five hours in the rain through the Topkapi Palace, seat of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, Hagia Sophia, the Greek Orthodox Basilica of Byzantine origin, later a mosue, and today strictly a museum, and the magnificent Blue Mosque. 

Half dome in The Blue Mosque

Textures and architectures vary greatly at Topkapi

Hollow, if not hallowed, tree, still living in Topkapi courtyard

The Blue Mosque from the city plaza.

Istanbul is a colorful, historic, proud and beautiful place.  They speak of the north side of the Bosporus as the European Side, and of the south side as The Asian Side.  The Bosporus Bridge rivals The Golden Gate in beauty, though it was but a vague shape in the mist to the east when seen from the Topkapi Palace on this rainy Friday.

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