I am woefully behind in blogging, but I just had to post a few highlights from the trip that Gabe and I took to Istanbul last month. It was such a fascinating city. Istanbul is an interesting mix of East meets West, ancient meets modern, and secular meets religious. I studied some history of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires before the trip to make the experience even more meaningful.Our first night out we stumbled upon the Hagia Sophia without even trying. It was so breathtaking that I got a little emotional. I can't even imagine how awed a traveler would have been to see the site 1500 years ago!
It is impossible to feel the scope and enormity of this man-made wonder without walking inside and gazing up at the tall dome.
A little ramp for royalty that leads to the top floor of the Hagia Sophia.
Gabe in front of one of the ornate ablution fountains outside the Hagia Sophia
This picture was taken inside of the Topkapi Palace. I loved these gorgeous tiles from the Ottoman Empire.
A courtyard in the Harem portion of the Sultan's Palace
Outside the Topkapi Palace of the Ottoman Empire