From Pamukkale we flew to Istanbul for a few days. We absolutely love Istanbul, so it was great to be able to get back there. M and A only had a day, so we hit up Haiga Sofia, the Blue Mosque, the Spice and Grand Bazaars, and of course desert cafes. Curt and I were able to additionally visit Sultan Ahmed’s tomb and the Chora Church.

Right: “This stone pillar is all that remains of a Byzantine triumphal arch from which road distances to all corners of the empire were once measured. 4th century AD.”

Tomb of Sultan Ahmed

Sultan I Ahmed Khan reigned during the Ottoman empire from 1603 to 1617. Ahmed is most remembered for ordering the construction of the Blue Mosque.

Chora Church

The Chora church was originally built in the early 5th century, but what we see today is mainly a result of construction and artwork done during the Byzantine era from 1077-1081. The frescoes and mosaics are exquisite and well-preserved considering they have suffered through several earthquakes and were all plastered over during the Ottoman Empire when the church was turned into a mosque.