The Little Hagia Sophia was my first stop and probably the coolest. I had the entire mosque to myself and it was truly magical to be able to pad across the carpet and stare wide-eyed at every exquisite detail.WP_009254

The Hagia Sophia museum itself though was incomparably glorious. Though there were throngs of people everywhere, words cannot describe the grandeur of this place.WP_009312 WP_009318 WP_009349 WP_009369 WP_009371 WP_009377

Across the way stands its counterpart, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. I wasn’t as impressed by this, partially because all my fellow tourists were being completely vexing and lacked respect to those using the mosque for prayer.

To the extent that a couple sent their daughter to have her photo taken a few feet from where people were praying.

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Hagia Sophia from afar.
Gulhane Park.


After exploring Gulhane Park, I headed to the Spice Bazaar. While not as big as the Grand Bazaar, it had a wie variety of spices I’d never even imagined as well as plenty of Turkish Delight.WP_009558 WP_009564 WP_009616

A little bit before dusk, I headed towards the Galata Tower, thinking it would be a cool place to watch the sunset. However, I got completely lost; then, when I arrived, I had to wait for about 20 minutes in queue. Nonetheless, the darkening sky was gorgeous, though I wish I’d thought to stay still!

Istanbul sunset gif