This was taken while waiting in line to get into the Blue Mosque. We went with a day tour group and were there fairly early in the morning. Remember to wear the appropriate clothing (cover your shoulders and your upper arms).
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Praying in the Blue Mosque - Istanbul
My draw dropped as I walked into the crowd of the tourists in the Blue Mosque. I looked around, I looked up senses stimulated by it all. I saw color, beauty, simple splendor. The area where the men pray was roped off. As my friend and I approached the roped off area, I noticed this lone man, sitting, praying and oblivious to all the noise and people around him. I took this one picture which is one of my favorites of Istanbul and one that captures an intriguing people and their culture. Turkey and Istanbul should be on everyone's must see list.
I awoke my first day in Istanbul with the first call to prayer, around 4:30AM. The usually crowded city was quiet and cool. The birds outside my hotel window were making their own morning calls to the world. The air was soft and cool. I grabbed my camera and headed out. The light turned pink while I wandered the cobbles and gardens of the Old Quarter. I didn't see another soul. I't was a magic travel moment.
The juxtaposition of light and dark reflected in this photo sums up my whole Istanbul experience. I found the city to be full of contradictions from Europe meets Asia, cosmopolitan to rough around the edges, friendly people and yet at the same time I was oddly aware that I was a tourist more than any other place I've traveled. That strange mix of experiences led me to be completely intrigued but interestingly out of place. Yet, of everywhere I've been....Istanbul is the place I reflect back on the most.
Since I had visited the Blue Mosque on a previous trip to Istanbul I had plenty of photos. This time through I was looking for somethng different to show its beauty. I found it in this view of the stained glass, revealed as I walked by a pillar adorned with golden script. While everyone else was looking up at the magnificent domes I found my own take on the experience.