Istanbul: Turkish Vacation Pt 1

Istanbul-001In October we took a trip to Turkey to meet up with some of Tom’s family. No, it’s not very close to Mongolia or the US, but, when you are half way around the world in a country without many direct flights out, Turkey becomes convenient. Plus, with a family member in London, it seems like more of a reasonable meeting point.

Tom and I spent a few nights in Istanbul and then flew to the Mediterranean coast where we met up with his mother and sister. We absolutely loved Turkey. It was really easy to get around, people were so nice, the food was great, the weather was perfect, and everything was beautiful and green. I will forever be longing for kaymak for breakfast.

Istanbul itself was wonderful — there is so much history in the city and it has such great neighborhoods. We took so many more pictures of the historic sites and architecture, you can see them here. I could spend weeks just exploring Istanbul, so if anyone else wants to rendezvous in Turkey let me know.

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Süleymaniye Mosque
Süleymaniye Mosque

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Tom's tiny Turkish coffee.
Tom’s tiny Turkish coffee.

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These were the only chickens in the street we saw, but in total there were almost 30 of them. And a man opened the blue door behind them and called and they all came running.
These were the only chickens in the street we saw, but in total there were almost 30 of them. And a man opened the blue door behind them and called and they all came running.
Our first night in town we went for a little walk and got a peak at the sea.
Our first night in town we went for a little walk and got a peak at the sea.

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Tea was everywhere. Even just drinking tea outside on the street, Men had these cute little glasses instead of paper cups.
Tea was everywhere. Even just drinking tea outside on the street, Men had these cute little glasses instead of paper cups.

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Yerebatan Cistern: Amazing underground cistern built in the 6th century (or earlier according to some sources I saw). Just amazing. It's described as "cathedral sized" and is over 100,000 sq. ft.
Yerebatan Cistern: Amazing underground cistern built in the 6th century (or earlier according to some sources I saw). Just amazing. It’s described as “cathedral sized” and is over 100,000 sq. ft.
A giant squirrel greets you at a downtown park.
A giant squirrel greets you at a downtown park.
We grabbed a drink with a view of the sea on one side and Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) on the other.
We grabbed a drink with a view of the sea on one side and Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) on the other.
Inside Ayasofya / Hagia Sophia. Half of it was being restored (see scaffolding), but it was still very impressive.
Inside Ayasofya / Hagia Sophia. Half of it was being restored (see scaffolding), but it was still very impressive.

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Inside the Blue Mosque.
Inside the Blue Mosque.
Chora Church / Museum.
Chora Church / Museum.
Inside Chora Church, built in the 4th century.
Inside Chora Church, built in the 4th century.
Some of the Byzantium mosaics didn't last as well as others.
Some of the Byzantium mosaics didn’t last as well as others.
My civilized Turkish tea as we take the ferry to visit walls and buildings built long ago.
My civilized Turkish tea as we take the ferry to visit walls and buildings built long ago.

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The Land Walls / Theodosian Walls, built in the 400s, 4 miles long!
The Land Walls / Theodosian Walls, built in the 400s, 4 miles long!
And you can climb on them. I'm assuming parts have been somewhat restored.
And you can climb on them. I’m assuming parts have been somewhat restored.

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