A 10 hour layover in Turkey gave me a chance to hit the highlights of Istanbul. I don’t love visiting a country without doing much research before, but this quick tour was opportunistic.
The Blue Mosque … massive, impressive, and being repaired. Scaffolding on site like these always hurts a bit but I did love walking around its gardens and eventually visiting the courtyards.
The mosque was closed for most of the day (muslims only) and then opened to the public for a couple of hours. I appreciate the fact they let tourists in to visit something special and a place of worship.
From my naive POV, the courtyard was much more beautiful. Inside was less impressive but more importantly an active worship site for muslims.
Below is inside the Magia Sophia, a separate mosque directly east of the Blue Mosque. It was massive and also beautiful. It was a bit difficult to capture on my camera. It was so crowded, I would get bumped each time I pointed up to get a shot of the massive dome-shaped structures.
What as most unique inside the mosque, were the chandeliers that hung low, connected by long chains that reached the top of the ceiling. The effect worked, making a massive structure feel a bit smaller and comfortable.
Istanbul was beautiful but I will admit all the muslim countries are starting to feel more and more similar. Almost difficult to differentiate beyond the large and numerous mosques inside the city.