Our cruise concluded in Istanbul, we spent one night on board ship, and then the four of us transferred to a hotel directly across from the Hagia Sophia for two more nights.
When we arrived in Istanbul, the weather had become very overcast, with occasional rains (very unusual for that time of year, but it did keep the temperature down.) Our first sight sailing into Istanbul was a tremendous number of cargo carriers and other commercial ships waiting their turn to move into the commercial dock.
Our last cruise excursion was a boat trip up the Bosphorus, looking at the various yali's (Ottoman houses) and other interesting buildings including a fortress, Egyptian consulate, and a few palaces.
The next day the four of us departed the ship, and had arranged a guide for the day to take us around Istanbul. (Just a van this time, no 40 person bus.) We started at the Kariye Muzesi, which at various times has been a Catholic church, a Byzantine church, a mosque, and is now a museum. It has perhaps the best mosaics in Istanbul. We next went to the Topkapi Palace, which once house 5000 people. In addition to the rooms shown below, we also saw the Treasury and Sacred Relics, but no photography was allowed in either place. Next up was the Hagia Sophia - an huge building that also started as a Byzantine church, became a mosque, and is now a museum and then the Blue Mosque.
We made a couple trips to the Grand Bazaar - one to get a sense of it, and the follow-up trip for the real shopping. That wrapped up our time in Istanbul, and on the trip itself.
Cargo Ships Waiting at Istanbul at Dawn
Toptaki Palace from the Bosphorus
Rumeli Hisari Fortress
Bosphorus Three Houses
Bosphorus Mannequin Yali
Topkapi, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque
Night Time Topkapi, Sophia, Blue Mosque
Kariye Müzesi Exterior
Kariye Müzesi Mosaic Closeup
Kariye Müzesi Ceiling Mosaic
Kariye Müzesi Interior Dome
Topkapi Palace Entrance
Topkapi Imperial Divan Exterior
Topkapi Kubbealtı Entrance
Topkapi Kubbealtı Interior
Topkapi Audience Chamber
Category:Travel and Places