Expedition Team: Jacque Kelly, Dave Miller Expedition Date: April 2018
We flew from the island of Rhodes to Athens, Greece & on to Istanbul, Turkey. Stayed at a bed & breakfast four blocks from the Blue Mosque & Hagia Sofia Mosques. Arriving in evening we walked to see the mosques, the Topkapi presidential palace & Gulhane Park (Photo#7) which had an incredible rose garden display.
The Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an Ottoman era mosque built between 1609 and 1616. It has 6 minarets and 13 domes. The exterior is made of hand painted blue tiles which are bathed in blue light at night (Photo #1,#2,#6).
The Hagia Sophia Mosque (Photos#3- #5) was built in 537AD as a cathedral. It was the largest Christian Church of the Eastern Roman Empire and the had the world’s largest interior at that time. After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 it became a mosque.
Gulhane Park overlooked the Bosphorous Pass (Photo#8), a strip of water separating Europe from Asia.
We ate dinner at Doy Doy Restaurant (Photos#9-#11) & had beef kabob with Turkish vegetables. We passed on taking a Turkish Bath at the nearby spa. Hearing the Muslim prayers blasted everywhere out of speakers in Turkish language was eerie & made us feel a little uneasy but also it was exciting being in a foreign country.