Above:"The Blue Mosque" (details are on the Istanbul Landmarks page)
Istanbul is a city that almost defies description as it reaches out to sharpen and hone your senses. The pungent, sweet smell of roasting corn wafting through the air to find your nostrils...with the smell of the durum-wrapped meat kebabs competing for attention. The noise of brutal and snarling traffic trying to maneuver slowly through the crowded foot traffic slowing their frustrated momentum (at $12 a gallon for gas not an inexpensive task).
The muezzins calling from minarets with clock-like precision or carpet sellers hawking their wares with loud voices that assault your ears. Your eyes fill with colors of every hue in the spectrum inside the Spice Bazaar while outside they absorb conflicting views of the secular and religious, modern and historic, overwhelmingly, richly beautiful versus the pitifully, poverty stricken ugly...all this and more...is Istanbul...more
Istanbul Landmarks: the Hagia Sophia Mosque (also known as AyaSofya) started as an Orthodox basilica in 360 and remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years but in 1520 it was outdone by the Seville Cathedral. In 1453 it became a mosque and many of its items were removed. In 1931 it was secularized and then opened as a museum in 1935. It is considered one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture...more
The Istanbul Spice Bazaar got it's official name "Egyptian Bazaar" because it was built with the revenues from Egypt. When it opened in 1664, it had been 7 years in the making. The main entrance faces the Yeni Mosque and it's in the neighborhood of Eminonu.
Spices we saw in numerous shops were cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, mint, paprika, saffron originating from Iran, Spain, Turkey (and other countries), sumac, and all types of peppers...black, red, white, whole or ground. I'm sure there were others I've not mentioned.
Rents from the shops help support the upkeep of the mosque...and most mosques have charitable affiliations to fund. Spices, nuts, figs, honeycomb, olive oil, lotions etc. Most of the shops offer vaccum packaging so that it's easy to take souvenirs/spices home without a hassle with customs...more
These Istanbul views basically feature bridges that join Europe and Asia, mosques that date back centuries, huge public squares like Sultanahmet Square (Hippodrome), the Golden Horn adjoining the straits and architecture that is Byzantine, Ottoman, baroque or combinations of them. In our collection of Istanbul photos, neighborhoods and streets seen here have little commentary and are quick shots we were able to take while on a day tour off of our ship...more
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