Days 8-10 — Istanbul, Turkey


The Basilica Cistern used to hold water for the city. A long time ago Istanbul experienced a drought and only the rich still had running water. They discovered the cistern when they traced the source of the water.

Süleymaniye Mosque sits at the top of the hill in the tourist district. It’s a hike, but worth it for the beautiful mosaics inside and out.

Outside Süleymaniye Mosque

The Spice Bazaar was built in the 1660s and houses shops that sell spices, Turkish delight (lokum), dried fruit, and nuts.

The famous stairs leading to Galata Tower.

Galata Tower was built initially in 1348 with 2 meter (that’s 6 feet!) thick walls at the base. It was been rebuilt several times due to fire damage and attacks.

The view from Galata Tower.


Chora Church, similarly to Hagia Sophia, was first a church, then a mosque, and now a museum. The interior mosaics date from 1312 and most tiles are less than 1/8 inch.

The genealogy of Mary.

The genealogy of Jesus.


Asian side of Istanbul with Anna and Chelsea

Riding the ferry to Asia on our last day in Istanbul.

We rode the ferry to Anadolu Kavağı and hiked to Yoros Castle. It was a steep, hot hike, but the breeze and view were totally worth it.

After returning from Asian Istanbul, we rode the minibus (dolmuş) up to Koç University where I studied abroad during our sophomore year. Selen got us through the gate (full security) and we got a tour of her lab and the campus. It was sooooo nice to see her again!!!


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