Can you imagine the sensory overload of 3000 shops with colorful merchandise of every sort ready for you to purchase? Our favorite comment of the whole trip so far: “Sir, how may I help you spend your money?”. That is the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.
A hard act to follow, but our next stop was the Blue Mosque, which was even more spectacular then Hagia Sofia was. The amount of ornate tile work is staggering. The Turkish architecture uses semi domes to support the weight of the large central dome, with additional smaller domes to support each of the semi-domes. The end result is a large collection of interior vaulted spaces, each elaborately decorated with mosaic and tile.
While others were pondering the collection of the Sultan’s jewels at Topkapi Palace, I strolled around the grounds admiring the wildlife, which included a variety of cats. Istanbul is home to thousands of cats; they seem well fed and healthy–I assume people like to have them around to keep the mouse population in check, perhaps.
Have to get on the bus now, more photos later.
UPDATE: below are Chinese dove, Hooded Crow, some Cormorant, and a Magpie.