Istanbul was unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. The architecture and the art was amazing and was such a stark contrast to what we’d been seeing elsewhere in Europe. It really felt like we were stepping into a whole new world. Unlike the other Western cities we visited, which all shared the same general culture that I’ve always been used to, Istanbul had a distinctively Eastern feel. Gazing up at the minarets and listening to the call of prayer echo through the city was surreal.
This was our view as we pulled into the port at dawn. Absolutely breathtaking.
The Blue Mosque.
The Hagia Sophia! I’ve been dreaming about visiting it ever since I first studied it in art history years ago.
The Hagia Sophia is built to look like the top of the dome is floating on air.
We ended the day stopping by the Grand Bazaar for a little bit. We didn’t stay too long as it was kind of an intense experience (with some very pushy salespeople!), and super touristy, but it was very cool to see all the different wares for sale. That wrapped up our first day in Istanbul- the next day we took a beautiful cruise along the Bosphorus, which is reserved for its own special post!