Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Embrace a Layover

The infamous Istanbul posting has arrived!

Wait for it...

Wait for it...

Okay, here it is. Sit back and enjoy, peeps. It is a feast for the eyes.

Pretend this was written a few days ago...

Our original plan was to fly from Beirut to Kayseri, Turkey with a connecting flight in Istanbul. However, a few days before, we discovered that our flight out of Beirut was delayed, thus making us miss our connecting flight in Istanbul.

Oh darn.

So, we took advantage of that delay and embraced a day-long layover in what could be described as one of the world's most incredible days in one of the world's most amazing cities.

We woke up on Wednesday morning at 2:45 am.  Did you catch that? That's 2:45 AM, people. Who plans flights that early? Seriously, who is it because I need to talk to him. Ridiculous.

Anyway, we knew this was going to be a jam-packed day because we were going to have to squeeze in a ginormous city with thousands of years of history into twelve hours.

Difficult? Yes.

Tiring? You better believe it!

Impossible? Absolutely not.

Just call us Wonder Women. All we need are capes.

I could ramble on and on about the beauty, intrigue, history, culture, food, sights, sounds, smells, food, and desserts all day long, but I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

The Blue Mosque (right next to our hotel)

Pomegranite in an open-air market

Scarves in the Grand Bazaar

Colorful lights in the Grand Bazaar

Spices at the Spice Market (go figure)

Turkish Delight...so delightful!

Market outside of the Grand Bazaar. Um, yum.

My colleague Tami and I at a literal hole-in-the-wall eatery. The guy who took this picture was standing in the street because there really was a hole in the wall.

Dried fruit and hazelnuts.

The Hagia Sofia. This is one of the oldest churches in the world. The original structure was built by Constantine as a Christian place of worship. However, since the Ottoman Empire, it has been converted to a Mosque. The Blue Mosque (directly across the street) was designed after this church.

Inside the Hagia Sofia

The Roman Cistern. This cistern was dug during the Roman Empire for the royal family. After the fall of the empire, this cistern was forgotten and was later discovered by a house wife who dug a whole in her floor thinking she could fetch water. Suspicions grew when she never ran out of water and an official investigation began to see what was below. Quite a lot of water was below!
Moral of story: don't knock housewives...or dig a hole in your floor to see what you can find.

Blue Mosque (at night, just in case you were wondering)

Inside the Blue Mosque

The End.

I hope it lived up to the hype. If not, don't tell me. It is better for me to think that your life has now changed because of this posting. It is what keeps me going.

Wishing you a wonderful Tuesday...


  1. Wow! So excited to hear your stories! Bring on Jordan!

    Love, Clairedoodle

  2. Beautiful photos, Sarah!! Looks like you had an amazing day!!

  3. You are such a good photographer! Love the colors! Sounds like you're having a fabulous time. Have you slept at all with these crazy travel hours?
    Love, Mel

  4. your pictures are breathtaking!!!!!

  5. Great pics, Sarah! Brings back memories - although we didn't make it inside the Blue Mosque. Can't wait to hear about it all!