The Hagia Sophia at dusk, as seen from our hotel window
Istanbul, Turkey – it’s ancient, historic, exotic, friendly, and awe-inspiring. It was Week Two of our 3-week vacation abroad. Why did we choose to include Istanbul? Because it was at the top of The Complete Package’s travel bucket list. It was his dream location. And since I got my German Christmas Markets trip last year, it was TCP’s turn to live out a travel dream.
We took thousands of photos in Istanbul, which speaks to the fact that it is one of the world’s great cities. The kind everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. This post is devoted to the highlights from Istanbul. I promise to post more photos over the next week to fill in the gaps on topics like shopping in the bazaars, the fabulous food, ancient sites, and our cruise on the Bosphorus. Words don’t do this city justice, so for now here are some of the highlights. I hope you are as blown away as we were. Istanbul was fabulous.
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The Hagia Sophia and park fountains at night
Interior of the Hagia Sophia from the upper gallery
The stunning ceilings of the Hagia Sophia
Example of the Byzantine mosaics in the Hagia Sophia
A view of the Blue Mosque through the domes of the Hagia Sophia
While the Hagia Sophia is dark, the Blue Mosque is bathed in light
Soaring domes and endless windows brighten the Blue Mosque
Every inch of the Blue Mosque appears to covered in colorful tiles
Topkapi Palace on a gray day is still just as lovely
The serene grounds of Topkapi Palace overlook the Bosphorus
An ornate door at Topkapi Palace. Understated? Hardly.
Topkapi's gorgeous Iznik tiles never fail to impress
The Basilica Cistern - Istanbul's underground treasure
The Egyptian Spice Market - selling exotic spices since the 1600's
The endless stalls of the Grand Bazaar are a visual feast
Traditional Turkish rugs are among the world's finest
Ferries help connect Europe and Asia as Istanbul spans two continents
Colorful homes and quaint villages line the Bosphorus
The old man and the sea. The Black Sea.
Everything in Istanbul is a delight. As is Turkish Delight.
That’s all for now, but don’t worry. There will be more to come throughout the week. If you have any questions, drop me a comment and I’ll answer as quickly as possible. Also, these photos and all others that appear on this blog were taken by me unless otherwise specified. All photos are the sole property of me, The Complete Package, and Inside NanaBread’s Head Blog. Use without written permission is prohibited. Contact info is provided on my “About” page.
For those who are anxious to see Week 3 in Prague, hang in there! It’s up next week, and you won’t want to miss it.