Istanbul

As promised, a slew of photographs of Istanbul’s best known sights.

Topkapi Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for about 400 years. I loved the beautiful tiles, all sporting different patterns and colours. The palace museum also has extraordinary exhibitions of intricately decorated swords, pistols, armour and other weaponry used during the Ottoman reign, patterned kaftans worn by various sultans and the gold and crystal writing cases, flasks and military honours all inlaid with diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Some of those stones are gianormous!

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Aya Sofya is a former Orthodox basilica, later a mosque and now a museum.

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The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles decorating it’s walls, boasts six minarets instead of the common four.

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Thank you to the lovely Cassidy Parker for some of her pics of Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque, taken during her visit to Istanbul in May.

Galata Bridge spans the Bosphorous between Galata and Suntanhamet neighborhoods and is a local fishing spot. Fisherman cast their lines from the top level and fish restaurants occupy the second level. The weather was grey and rainy when I walked across the bridge, but it did nothing to mask the pungent fishy smells.

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Suleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque and the largest in the city. The red patterned carpet and pink dome cast a rosy hue inside the peaceful space.

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Turkish delight, baklava, nuts, spices, dried flowers and herbs, evil eyes, sheesha pipes, trinkets and curios… Welcome to the Spice Bazaar.

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