I wanted to share with you some images of my trip to Turkey.  Istanbul treated me with a lot of what I love the most: a mixture of old and new, innovation and tradition and I couldn't be happier to absorb it all in. On the first day, our discoveries of Istanbul started at the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, more famously known as the Blue Mosque (first 3 pictures). The neighborhood, also called Sultan Ahmet, is situated on cobble-stoned sloped streets were you can also spot the Golden Horn part of the Bosphorus. It's a non-ending contemplation of beauty.





 Above, Hagia Sophia's opulent Byzantine architecture where Islamic influences meet the original Church with Christian-depicted golden mosaics. Surrounding the center of the structure is a loggia supported by magnificent marble pilasters and arched yellow and gray geometric design mosaic ceiling.
Below are images of the Topkapi Palace which is located on one of the highest points of Istanbul's shoreline overlooking the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara. The palace, today a museum, is divided in many courtyards and buildings among which you can see a mixture of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Eclectic Europeanized architecture.




 

Porch of Imperial Divan at the Topkapi Palace.






Above, Grand Kiosk constructed in an eclectic europeanized style.
 A tromp-l'oeil on one of the doors that lead to the inside of the Imperial Divan.


Above, Ciragan Palace where my lucky husband had his High School graduation ball.


The Gates of The Dolmabasce Palace.


A view of Sultan Amet neighborhood.


After 5 hours of absorbing the awe-inspiring beauty of Topkapi Palace we headed to Ortakoy neighborhood which means middle town. There, the girls and I went into a small store specializing in hats, while the boys went to look for a restaurant. While trying on almost all the hats in this small open shop which is surrounded only by old buildings and with the calling for prayer as our background I couldn't help but feel as if we were the main characters in a James Bond movie.

Below, pictures of the beautiful interior of The House Cafe.







A view of the Ortakoy Mosque from our table.

All images are property of and taken exclusive by Bellevivir.

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