Home, Photos of Istanbul

Friday, September 18, 2015
Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States
After an 11+-hour fight from Istanbul to Chicago, a 1.5-hour bus ride to Milwaukee, and a 2-hour car drive home, I arrived in Green Bay on Tuesday evening around 10:30 pm. 

I was really fortunate to be able to see Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque before I departed Istanbul . I arrive at HS right at 9 am, and because of time, only could spend about 30 minutes there. When I was leaving HS, I went to buy a glass of fresh pomegranate juice and it just so happened that the Blue Mosque was open because prayer service wasn't going on. We had to take off our shoes and go barefoot. I also had to use my scarf to cover my head.  

What is Hagia Sophia? Incredible, for one. Here is more from my friend, Wikipedia: 
Hagia Sophia (from the Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom"; LatinSancta Sophia or Sancta SapientiaTurkish:Ayasofya) is a former Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in IstanbulTurkey. From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as a Greek Orthodox cathedraland seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople,[1] except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was thensecularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935 .[2]

The Blue Mosque was built between 1609-1616, and is still used as a mosque today. Some people think it's overrated, but because of its close proximity to Hagia Sophia, it made sense to visit it. I still thought it was pretty incredible. 

I then stopped at a shop to get some quick souvenirs, went back to my hotel, had a cup of Turkish coffee, and cabbed it to the airport. Once again, the airport was a hot mess. I was actually kind of happy to be getting onto the plane and out of that airport. 

I enjoyed my short time in Istanbul and definitely need a good 3-4 days there. I hope you enjoy the photos. But I was happy I got to see what I did, and it did break up my flights home.  

I will write a final post this weekend on trip thoughts. Until then, it's back to work, back to regular life and back to not eating bread with every meal, which is ok.  

Thanks, as always, for reading. 
- Jamie