The weather in Istanbul was beautiful this weekend, so I took advantage and did some exploring. On Friday, a couple friends and I took a walk down to the Bosphorus where we just sat by the water, and then to Rumelihisarı, a fortress that’s visible from my campus.
Something kind of funny (and scary) was the lack of railings here. In the US, there are railings everywhere to prevent people from falling. Some of these fortress walls were probably 20 feet or more above the ground, and the stairs were very steep, but no railings to be found. I’m glad that the fortress is preserved as is, but it did make for a kind of scary experience since I’m a little scared of heights.
On Saturday, I finally got my museum pass and went to the Hagia Sophia. The Hagia Sophia was originally an Orthodox church completed in 537, and then turned into a mosque in 1453. Now it’s a museum open to the public. The architecture and design inside and out were breathtaking. To be inside this structure and realize that millions of Christians and Muslims have come here to worship over the course of more than a thousand years was quite the experience. It’s so nice that both the Islamic and Christian art and mosaics are visible.