Istanbul…Two Continents in One Afternoon


Istanbul…the constant beating of the wave of the East against of the rock of the West.—Susan Moody

We had an afternoon to explore some of the sights of Istanbul.  We were visiting my son’s family and baby sitting our granddaughter while in Istanbul.  We spent a lot of time in a park and playground of Kadikoy.  However we were able to take an afternoon and see some wonderful sights.

We ferried across the Bosphorus Strait to the European side of Istanbul, or what you really old folks may call Constantinople.  We grabbed lunch off one of the boats selling fresh fish sandwiches and an order of pickles.  This was a very unique dining experience and I loved the taste of both the fish and pickles.  We ate on the landing.

After our lunch, we headed over to the spice market.  What an incredible experience this was.  Normally, I am not a shopper but I was enthralled at all of the stuff for sale here.  We bought some Turkish Delight, of course.  We also bought some decorative tiles and some scarves.  There was great temptation to buy more, but we showed great restraint.

After the spice market, we boarded a train to take us to the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

We were not allowed to enter the Blue Mosque but were allowed in the courtyard.  It is an impressive mosque and the grounds were beautiful as the tulips were in bloom.

The Hagia Sophia was an incredible architectural marvel, considering when it was built.  I loved looking at the ceilings. I also loved looking at the remnants of Christianity before it was converted to a mosque, a microcosm of Istanbul itself.  Although I shouldn’t use the term “micro” in the same context as the Hagia Sophia. One minor disappointment was construction going on inside, so scaffolding blocked some of the views.  I realize this is the chance you take going to see old historical buildings that need constant repair and restoration.  I am glad it is being done.

I can’t wait for the next time to visit Istanbul and be able to see more of the historical sites.  One afternoon was memorable.

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Waiting on the ferry to take us across the Bosphorus Strait, from Asia to Europe.


Seen from the ferry, the Blue Mosque on the left and Hagia Sophia on the right.


A closer view of the Hagia Sophia.

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In the spice market.

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Of course there are spices for sale in the spice market.

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And delicious Turkish Delight.

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Colorful plates and cups for sale in the spice market.

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Beautiful lamps in the spice market.

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One of the many fountains in Istanbul.

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Tulips in bloom outside the Blue Mosque.


Up close at the Blue Mosque.


Courtyard of the Blue Mosque.

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Hagia Sophia


Domes of the Hagia Sophia.

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Large carpet of tulips outside Hagia Sophia.

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Inside the Hagia Sophia remnants of Christianity and Islam can be seen.

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Remnants of a Christian mural inside the Hagia Sophia.


2 thoughts on “Istanbul…Two Continents in One Afternoon

  1. beating of the wave of the East against of the rock of the West
    What a beautiful description for this place of wonderful contrasts and loveliness.


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