Monday, December 12, 2011

Istanbul- Turkish Delight & Beautiful mosques イスタンブール:美しいモスクと美味しいTurkish Delight

From my diary:

Woke up with the squeaking sound of the boat docking at Istanbul port and soon after 7:00 I woke up with my alarm- not so happy as I am lacking sleep. I went up for breakfast, and saw a cityscape right outside, with a mosque! It felt weird and so exciting at the same time.


We left the boat around 8:30 and just slowly walked across the bridge and the city heading to Ayasofia and Blue Mosque. We couldn't see many people nor shops open, but since we knew nothing about the way things are here, we didn't question it at all。

We first saw the Ayasofia from outside, and Jay and Barb went in… Bekah, Tiev and I went into the Cistern underground- it was very calm and nice with water, darkness lights and over 300 pillars lined up, almost creating an illusion of a mirror being there. 


 We met the others and saw the Blue Mosque next, which had no entrance fee. It had a beautiful majestic courtyard, and so was the inside- the patterns were so intricate and detailed, yet so calming perhaps because of the precise patterns?!, but it felt like I could be there for a while just sitting, taking it all in, and thinking or just being. It was quite a beautiful experience.


We hit the Grand Bazaar next, an area with over 4500 shops. I had expected it to be like a market where prices were cheap, but it was the opposite, and I bought apple tea and a few hammam soaps. We then got some internet time but it was very slow and with Turkish letters, so I couldn't do much. After we headed to the spice bazaar, which was more local and very very nice. It was very crowded, people were yelling from shops to invite, and above all the smell of the spices and the tea and the Turkish delight were attacking a good way. I loved to look at the different teas and to breath in the smells from the dried flower/tea leaves. 


We walked to the pier to see the sunset, Bekah Clau and Barbara and I, and sat by the stairs, munching on Turkish delight, and the sky was so beautiful with pink,yellow,blue,purple colors. It took a long time to find food, but once we did, the kebab in bread was SO GOOD, I felt like I could easily have two.


Steven joined us and we made our way to the blue mosque by night. We were surprised to see so so many people out on the grass, and many cottoncandy stalls, candy stalls, ice cream stalls and people enjoying food and family/friends time. It reminded me of summer festivals in Japan, and was glad I could experience this culture.


We took the tram back and I was exhausted and so happy to go to bed


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