Turkey: Wandering in Istanbul and Beyond

My 2008 journey into Turkey was the first time I went backpacking. Some of the most captivating moments in Istanbul and beyond include:

  • Walking around Istanbul in the rain. It was worth getting soaked in the rain so as to get a close-up look at the magnificent Blue Mosque, the opulent Topkapi Palace, the venerable Aya Sofya, and the ancient Basilica Cistern!!!


    The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1619. It is an exemplar of the Ottoman architecture


    The Blue Mosque


    The Blue Mosque – solemn prayers inside the mosque. For a useful introductory survey of the history of Islam (in German), see http://www.geo.de/GEO/heftreihen/geo_epoche/geo-epoche-islam-80780.html


    The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya are opposite to each other, and they look so alike. It is said that the Byzantine architectural style embodied by Aya Sofya has influenced the Ottoman architectural style represented by the Blue Mosque.



    Aya Sofya – the huge circular meddallions inscribed with the Islamic calligraphy. For more information, see http://www.hagiasophia.com/listingview.php?listingID=13


    Aya Sofya – the Byzantine Apse Mosaic depicting Virgin Mary and Baby Christ. For more information, see http://www.hagiasophia.com/listingview.php?listingID=12


    Basilica Cistern – It was built by the Byzantine emperor Constantine and enlarged by Justinian.

  • Being awed by the impressive ruins of the Library of Celsus and meeting the “Romans” in Ephesus.


    The Library of Celcus – It was built in 117 CE (the Roman period). For more information, see http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/celsuslibrary.htm


    The Library of Celsus – Ephesus reached the height of its glory during the Roman period. St. Paul, St. John and Virgin Mary visited Ephesus in its heyday.


    The Libary of Celsus


    The Great Theatre – It was first constructed in the Hellenistic Period and then enlarged during the Roman period. For more information, see http://www.ephesus.us/ephesus/theatre.htm


    The “Romans” in Ephesus

  • Dipping into the gleaming travertine pools in Pamukkale







Rich Breakfast in Pamukkale

  • Sleeping under the stars on the rocky slopes of Mt Olympus. This was unplanned. It was just too tiring and dangerous to get down from the mountain in the dark after the climb of so many steps to watch Chimaera (a cluster of flames that burn spontaneously from crevices of rocks emitting methane and other gases).




    The serene beach


    The serene beach


    Kadir’s treehouse

  • Climbing up the fairy chimneys (huge stone mushrooms formed by volcanic materials and erosion) in Cappadocia. I had fallen into one of the “chimneys” and had thought that I would be paralysed for life. Luckily, I got lifted up from the “chimney” by others and just got several bruises and nothing else 🙂 The Byzantine murals inside the Göreme Open-Air Museum were amazing! For more information, see  http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/cappadocia-goreme-cave-churches







Last Updated: 17th June 2017


About Lydia Leehttps://aroundtheworldinmorethan80days.blog/maior liber noster orbis terrarum est; in eo lego completum, quod in libro dei lego promissum.

5 thoughts on “Turkey: Wandering in Istanbul and Beyond

  1. haven\’t seen you for a while, it is great to see you having so much fun! I tried to reach you but they said you went overseas, so i guess we can catch up when you get back.

  2. hiya~dearest Lydia~first time to see your space :p and I do have lots of fun as well. Now I keep studying bible every Friday afternoon and kit is my bible teacher. you know her, right? take care!

  3. Hallooo Yaoyao, it\’s really nice that you are on space as well~wow!I am very glad that you are dilligent in learning the bible~
    yeah, i know kit. Kit Harman, right?so you have a good teacher as well!take care and we will keep in touch ^^

  4. I only watched ur pictures and now I just read ur blog. Luckily you are still safe(alive)!!!! the bruises are gone now?!
    hmmm~~~you are growing up ^^ you learnt how to alive not only enjoying live~~haha!!!!
    it must be so so so unforgettable life experience. not only a trip for fun but also a trip for knowledge.

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