Day 303 – Istanbul, Turkey
We would like to begin this blog entry by wishing our grandpa (an incredible man) a Happy 91st Birthday! We love you and miss you grandpa! Hope you are having a wonderful Birthday. Ryan and I had an amazing day! Today was a TOTAL feast for our eyes. We began our exploration of Istanbul by visiting the Blue Mosque, an extremely impressive structure. The interior is beautifully decorated with over 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles. Just when we thought we’ve seen the city’s grandest edifice, we entered the Hagia Sophia and were completely blown away. Hagia Sophia is absolutely magnificent with its stunning mosaics and Byzantine architecture. It was built in 537 AD and has undergone an interesting transformation from an Eastern Orthodox basilica to a Mosque. We concluded our day by visiting the Topkapi Palace Museum. The Museum contains an unbelievably opulent collection of objects which belonged to the Sultans who ruled the Ottoman Empire. The Treasury was remarkable… I have never seen so many beautiful objects richly decorated with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.
(Sultan Ahmed Mosque – a.k.a. the Blue Mosque)
(Topkapi Palace Museum)
(Tonight’s dinner: chicken shish – so yummy!!!)