Days 8-10 — Istanbul, Turkey

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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.

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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.

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Outside Süleymaniye Mosque

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

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The famous stairs leading to Galata Tower.

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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.

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The view from Galata Tower.

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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.

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The genealogy of Mary.

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The genealogy of Jesus.

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Asian side of Istanbul with Anna and Chelsea

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

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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.

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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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