The Today Show with Matt Lauer was here last week. Now it is our turn. This is where Europe meets Asia. The Bosphorus is the vital waterway linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. We plan to visit the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace with its priceless jewels. Our visit also includes the Istanbul Archaeological Museum which houses numerous discoveries of biblical interest. Everyone should visit the Grand Bazaar at least once. The bazaar is made up of more than 4,000 little shops under one roof. Everything from cheap trinkets to expensive jewelry and carpets may be found in the bazaar.
Here is a photo of the famous Hagai Sophia. This structure was built by the Emperor Justinian as a church between 532 and 537 A.D. Later it was converted to a mosque, and in now a museum. It is one of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks.
Have you heard the song, “Istanbul (not Constantinople)”? The lyrics begin this way:
Istanbul was constantinople
Now its istanbul, not constantinople
Been a long time gone, constantinople
Now it’s turkish delight on a moonlit night
Let’s not forget that Constantinople was Byzantium.
On time arrival. We arrived safely in Istanbul this afternoon to beautiful weather. A few members of our group had come to the country early (as much as two weeks) to enjoy the sites. Others used their frequent flyer points. Everyone is here, and there is no lost luggage.
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The 5 p.m. call to prayer just started (by loud speaker) at a nearby mosque. It reminds us where we are.