By Cate

The Blue Mosque

We’re heading to Doha, Qatar today where the temperature is 39 C today!   Before we leave Istanbul, here are a few pictures from the streets and from the beautiful Aya Sofia. The Aya Sofia was built something like 1500 years ago and was a Christian church for almost 1000 years before it became  a mosque for 500 years.  There is a combination of art from both religions inside and the stone ramp to the second floor was amazing.

 Istanbul is a city filled with hungry stray cats, Rome and Paris are cities filled with well-fed dogs, quite a contrast.  We snuck bits of our dinners out of restaurants and fed the cats.  Kenn we haven’t had a chance to read the local paper but we did get to experience internet policing when we were forbidden to look at the video of Jill Johnson’s escapades in the 70’s from the New York Times website.  Also, there are very few women running or working in businesses, we deal almost exclusively with men here who stand on the street and try to enitce us into their shops.  Anne Marie and I are oddly immune to their charms.   We took a boat tour on the Bosphorous sea, walked around the old city and dove into the Grand Bazaar – all good stuff.  None of the city maps we found actually have street names on all of the streets – probably because more than 1/2 the streets don’t have any street signs.  We thought we’d get more lost in this city than we once did in Hanoi but we managed to find our hotel every evening so it was all good.

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