This city is going to be epic.
After checking in to the hotel and washing off the scent of airplane and lost luggage, we knew we had to go check some of the local sights or risk the wrath of jet lag later on. So out we went.
Stop one was the Little Hagia Sofia, built in the mid 4th century by Justinian and Theodora before the real Hagia Sofia was raised. You’re supposed to be able to see some similar elements in the two structures, and I’ll have to let you more about that later, but the mosque itself was quite cute in its own modest way.
Even cuter were the Turkish kids who were mesmerized by Daina’s tattoo. As I was taking off my shoes and getting ready to look inside the mosque (Daina was wearing shorts, so he couldn’t), a little guy comes up to Daina and starts rubbing his arm. Another two came up and one even had the guts to lift Daina’s sleeve up to see the rest of it. As I was wandering around inside, the kids sat down next to Daina on a bench and just quietly hung out with him for a few minutes. Cute times and D came out of it with all his ID and such, so win-win.
Wanting to stay awake, we did a “fly by” of the Hippodrome area, walking the perimeter of both the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofia, two amazingly beautiful buildings that I’ll probably have more to say about later. We were just so completely zonked by our lack of sleep on the flight that I’m not sure we were able to take in the true scale and grandeur of the two beyond “Wow, pretty.” We’re going to rectify that situation tomorrow, as we’re going to actually go inside each structure, which should give us a better feel of both.
At around 6:30, the lag started to hit us hard so we wandered back to the hotel, picking up some bottled water and snacks before stumbling into a really good but REALLY PRICEY seafood restaurant. The upside was a fantastic meal and beautiful view of the Bosporus.
It was good to get out and actually see some of the city today, and to get a basic blueprint of how long it will take to walk from place to place. Tomorrow, we’ll be doing just that!
More to come. First, sleep.