Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Vacation: Istanbul

A long, long time ago, I sat next to Mr. JoshTaylor (of Blimey Cow) in Fine Arts class, where he criticized my eating habits a lot.  Somewhere along the line, his message got through to me, and I now adhere to many of the rules he tried to instill into me, but I wouldn't dare then!  I'm not one to do what I'm told. ;)  But my obnoxious stuborness isn't the point. While JoshTaylor and I were in that Fine Arts class, we were shown pictures of many things that I thought for sure I'd never get to see.

Things like

Westminster Abbey
The Wedding Feast at Cana
The Code of Hammurabi

But, in the end, I clearly saw them, and that realization was so overwhelming that I cried.

So, when my search for plane tickets to the U.S. turned up the chance to stop in Istanbul and see Hagia Sophia, yet another item that made my Bucket List, thanks to Fine Arts, I jumped at the chance (plust the $1,000 cost reduction from what I'd been looking at beforehand).

The results were two new friends I made on the plane and coerced into joining me, an invitation to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and THIS:

Entering Istanbul at sunrise

My first glimpse of Hagia Sophia

Alman Çeşmesi (German Fountain)

Blue Mosque

Hagia Sophia again

The ceiling of one of the mausoleums in Hagia Sophia

A beautifully spirited street vendor

At this point, I would say that Istanbul is neck and neck with Mainz for my favorite city that I've visited.  I would surely love to try living here sometime.  What a breath of fresh air to start out my journey!

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