Main Attractions: Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque

Hagia Sofia (or Ayasofia) was founded as a Catholic church in the 6th century, and converted to a mosque when Istanbul was conquered in the 15th century. It is no longer a functioning mosque. It is fascinating to see the massive round Arabic canvasses, thirty feet in diameter, surround the main chamber, while ancient Biblical mosaics adorn the walls. Light …

Arrival in Istanbul

Once we reached Beograd, the anticipation for Istanbul mounted, despite our self-admonitions to always be present and enjoy our current “home address”. We board our half-full plane on Serbian carrier Jat Airlines, stretching out with an empty middle seat between us. We use up our final Serbo-Croatian please’s and thank you’s – molim’s and hvala’s – on the stewardess. The …