Day three was a pretty full day. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, a large cistern (which I'm sure had a specific name but I do not remember it), the Hippodrome, and the Grand Bazaar.
First, the Hagia Sophia. Well, actually, first was the park between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, but that is not particularly important other than the views of both buildings it provided. I feel obliged to point this out so that the ordering of the pictures below will make some sort of sense.
The inside of the Hagia Sophia was, as expected, amazing. Something that has cropped up often here in old buildings is the highly detailed mosaics. So detailed that the first few we saw we thought to be paintings. Unfortunately, there was restoration going on in the main dome, and thus half of the dome was filled with ugly scaffolding.
|Spotted from across the building|
After the Hagia Sophia, we had a quick lunch and then went to see a cistern. The inside of one, specifically. It was damp. And dark. It wasn't easy to take pictures down there because of my lack of a tripod, but I got one anyways.
After the cistern, it was off to the Blue Mosque. As usual, we were required to dress appropriately...though luckily my shorts were long enough to cover my knees, so I didn't need to do anything.
After viewing the mosque, we made our way to the site of the hippodrome, or racetrack. Now, however, it is a large square-esque area with several monuments, such as this obelisk from Egypt. Tall though it was, it actually was only the top third of the original obelisk.
The Grand Bazaar was our last stop of the day; a gigantic maze of hundreds of tiny shops all aggressively selling basically the same thing. We wandered through there for a while, kept losing each other, and slowly bought a few things (bargaining included). I did not get pictures, however...I didn't want to show any specific interest in any store lest I be swarmed by shopkeepers.
I will try to catch up with the remaining days at some point in the near future...