Pictures of Turkey – Aya Sofya and Blue Mosque in Istanbul

The Aya Sofya (or Hagia Sophia) is a church originally built in the year 360, but that was converted into a mosque in 1453. It’s now a museum. There are old Christian mosaics and paintings, with Muslim additions all around.

Part of the Aya Sofya

Inside Aya Sofya.

Looking out the Aya Sofya window at the Blue Mosque.

The Blue Mosque (actual name Sultan Ahmed Mosque) was built in 1609. It’s still in use, but it’s also a tourist attraction. You can go in between prayer times. It’s called the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles inside.

Place for washing your face, hands, and feet before praying.

Dome of the Blue Mosque

Outside

Apparent end of the line nearby.

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Pictures of Turkey – Pamukkale Travertines

The travertines in the small town of Pamukkale are these white steps with water flowing all down them. They’re ridiculously beautiful and from a distance look like a mountain covered in snow. Up above them are some Roman ruins which we were a little tired to explore.

Natalie enjoying the pools.

Travertines.

Yaaay bath time!

Natalie convinced me to try the fish-eating-your-dead-skin foot thing. Creepiest. Feeling. Ever. Also, not doing that again.

Travertine pools.

Water is flowing all over the place.

Pictures of Turkey – Fethiye and Oludeniz

We went down to the southern coast for some beach time (yay!); we stayed in Fethiye and took a bus to Oludeniz both days, which is a lovely (and ridiculously touristy) lagoon. There were tons of restaurants, clearly catering to British tourists. Hardly any Turkish food around, but tons of cheese toasties, Irish breakfasts, and the like.

Shortly after getting there, we went paragliding! And neither of us died! Yay!

Turkey’s “dead sea” lagoon.

Flyin high.

Pictures of Turkey – Cappadocia

Cappadocia is an area in central Turkey where the wind and water has worn down the soft rock into crazy formations. Parts of Star Wars were filmed there, so you can imagine the awesome that’s involved (even if I don’t like Star Wars). We took a lovely walk through “Love Valley.” I’ll let you figure out what inspired the name.

General view of Goreme town.

Another view of Goreme.

The “Fairy Chimneys” of Goreme.

More Fairy Chimneys, where people used to live (they’re really high up because erosion has brought the soil level down, exposing more of the rocks).

View of Love Valley.

I mean, why not?

Love Valley from the other side.

Pictures of Turkey – Istanbul

We had a fantastic time in Istanbul. I’d love to go back! The east side of the city wasn’t particularly interesting, but the western side was gorgeous, exciting, and fun (and a little expensive). It was a nice taste of Europe after having been in the Middle East for 10 months.

These are from various things around Istanbul, mostly on the western side but a little on the eastern side as well.

View from the Bosphorus

Also from the Bosphorus

Maiden’s Tower

From Maiden’s Tower to European Istanbul

Teehee.

Pictures of Turkey – Istanbul Markets

These pictures are from the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, two really fantastic places in Istanbul.

Turkish Delight at the Spice Market

More Turkish Delight

Dried fruit

Turkish Viagra, har dee har

Finally, some spices at the Spice Market.

Close up of some of the tea.

More spices!

Now on to the Grand Bazaar.

Lots o’ things.

Saris on sale.

Knick knacks.

Jewelry.

Lovely lamps.

Petra pictures

I’m working on catching up on all the pictures I haven’t posted, so here are pictures from Petra.

The Siq – the long entrance

The stairs leading up to the Monastery

The Monastery; ridiculous number of stairs to get up here.

Monastery entrance, for size

The ruins of the Princess Temple

The old town

CAMEL CAMEL CAMEL.

The end of the Siq – arrival at the Treasury

The Treasury

Some of the rocks

After climbing past the Monastery, we found this. We also found a sign that said 250 meters to Israel, but I’m not 100% sure either of these signs is fully accurate. Although, both kind of could be, actually.