We arrived in Istanbul stupidly early and for once the airport was efficient. Typical! The one time we were not in any kind of a hurry! However, the journey was painless, deserted roads and a rising sun. The hotel was excellent, they knew we were coming early and had a room ready for us…. It was 5:30 in the morning. So a quick kip and ‘would you like breakfast Sir?’ Certainly would! Came the reply. And very nice it was too. Fresh fruit, cheese, meats, bread, cake and proper coffee.
Thus suitably fortified and fuelled we set out for a still early start around Istanbul. A gentle wander around the outside of the sites seemed the order of the day. Decided to give the palace a miss as, despite there being no crowds we weren't sure how long our stamina would last and it’s supposed to be a long time going around. This turned out to be a bit of mistake as the decision was taken to postpone that wonder until our last day… Tuesday. When we turned up early Tuesday… ‘Sorry sir, closed Tuesday!’ Oh well, next time.
After a quick apple tea to fortify us, we headed along with the rest of the multitudes to the Aya Sophia.
First built in C.E.360 the current building was completed in C.E.532 and for nearly a thousand years was the largest enclosed space in the world.
This must have been an awe inspiring building 1500 years ago when it was built specifically to impress, you can see why it would have worked too: the inside is huge. However, as seems to be the norm, they were in the middle of repairing it so scaffolding everywhere. The outside was packed but once inside…. Alright, I’m not pretending we had it to ourselves but it was still not overwhelming.
In particular once you’ve toured the ground floor, I recommend the step winding path up to the first floor. Less crowded and better views both of the dome and the space in general. There are some lovely, ancient, Christian frescos and Islamic art on the walls.
Suitably jet-lagged we retired from the midday heat for a snooze.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.
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