A photo essay
Celebrated my 21st birthday by traveling for six hours. This is me eating my birthday cake outside the Florence Airport because everyone had to evacuate the building.
View of the Blue Mosque from the terrace of our hotel!
Walking down a bazaar selling tea, carpets, leather, textile and Turkish Delight. Sadly we didn’t have any Turkish Lira to bargain that morning.
View of the Hagia Sophia from the exit of the Blue Mosque.
A very zoomed in photo of a mosaic of the Virgin and Child from the Hagia Sophia’s Christian days, dated 9th century. And an Internet image that is much clearer (Source: Wikipedia).
One of the many stray cats of Istanbul.
Grape leaves for lunch!
A row of Istanbulites lined up on the Galata Bridge fishing on the Bosphorus Strait.
View of the Galata Tower from below. The tower was built in 1348, the year of the Black Death in Europe, and not coincidentally, was built by the Genovese, who brought the plague from Asia to Europe via trade through Istanbul.
A drink called salep, which according to Wikipedia, “is a flour made from the tubers of the orchid genus Orchis.” It was very delicious; tasted like watered down condensed milk.
Barely making it onto our ferry boat back to Europe. We would’ve had to spend 12 hours in Asia, maybe not so bad.
A view of the Mediterranean Sea on a rainy Sunday.