Monday, August 5, 2013

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

Luna's head plowed forward like a bull about to gore someone. Or something.

I frantically chased her around.

Ducked here and there to avoid knocking tourists out. Every second I hoped to see hubby's face in the tourist buzz. I was waiting for his return. Minutes ago he quickly walked back to our hotel, about two hundred meters away, to stow our daughter's sorta useless stroller. It didn't function well on Istanbul's cobblestone streets and we weren't planning to lug it throughout our day-long, do-it-yourself walking tour.

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In the courtyard of Sultan Ahmet Camii, more popularly known as the Blue Mosque.
  
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Access from a more peaceful side.
 
It was late spring under the Turkish skies. We were right outside one of the entrances to the Blue Mosque. In between my sprints after Luna, I watched more and more visitors fall in queue to get in the main prayer room. I then realized that I forgot to bring a headscarf. This I mentioned to the hubby when he finally got back looking slightly disoriented. I never asked, but I assumed he got lost along the way. His reply was so inaudible, it might as well have come with a muzzle. 

I pretended to understand and motioned for him to fish Luna out of an off-limits garden.
 
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Oh that impish smile.
 
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Tourists lined up to see the mosque's interiors.
 
Unbeknownst to us, just the week prior, authorities started providing robes and skirts (they used to lend only scarves) to visitors whose attire wasn't in line with religious rules. Summer was approaching and they were expecting scantily-clad vacationists to swing by.

So... We could have entered after all (not that I was scantily-clad). But then again the sight of the queue made us wince, hence we settled for the mosque's courtyard.
 
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Blue Mosque, the stunner.

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Arcades that surround the inner courtyard.

The courtyard is almost the same size as the mosque itself. And we found it frenetic when we stepped in. Tourists poured from all entrances. The flow, nonstop. Hubby and I positioned ourselves under an arcade, in an unpopular corner while Luna ran to her heart's desire.

Amidst the chaos we gaped at Blue Mosque's
pulchritude.

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One of the six minarets.

Architect Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa knew splendor well.

Sultan Ahmet Camii was built  from 1609 to 1616, under the rule of Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I. It's more popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the exquisite blue ceramic tiles that adorn its interior walls — which we unfortunately didn't see. Also, unique to this imperial mosque is its six minarets since the common maximum is four, and they are classical examples of Turkish architecture. It has one main dome and eight secondary domes that, to me, appears to be a cascade of some sort.

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View of Blue Mosque from Sultanahmet Park.

We stood in awe for quite a long while until Luna tugged my dorky shirt to invite me to a game of run-along-the-red-carpet-'til-we-huff. I glanced at my watch. Surprised by the time, I grabbed my daughter by the hand. She'd have to resume her running some place else...

At Hagia Sophia.
 
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Luna started and ended her Blue Mosque tour with a dash.
 

Turkey In Two Weeks And A Day 2013: 

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12 comments:

Sky Summer said...
August 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM

It was way back in highschool, when I got interest about ottoman and turkish empire, blame it to Asian History. From there I didn't stop dreaming, about Istanbul and that famed Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet. For now I'll just enjoy your sojourn in Eurasian country! More Turkey post please! :)

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
August 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Blue Mosque's my fave mosque thus far :)

ian | going places said...
August 14, 2013 at 3:03 AM

sayang hindi nyo na-view yung loob pero at bluish ang design ng outer mosque. It really spells splendor of Turkish architecture.

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
August 14, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Yes, but we woulda been more tiled-out! LOL. Saw lots - too much - of mosaic tiles that day ;p

N Moore said...
August 14, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Great article! I felt like I was there, running with the lil tot =)

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
August 14, 2013 at 7:55 PM

And panting with the lil tot? Hihi.

N Moore said...
August 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Lol =) #toddlerwithboundlessenergy

Journeys & Travels said...
August 15, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I just love how Luna is fast becoming a traveling fashion icon hehe :) Love this one Gay, superbly written as usual

Stella Sandoval said...
August 16, 2013 at 2:07 AM

Oh my! Hagia Sophia is one of my dream destinations! *green with envy*
On another note, Luna is uber-pretty! I absolutely adore those pants. (^_^)

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
August 18, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Haha! Luna and her #OOTDs.

pinaytraveljunkie.com said...
August 18, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Oh I hope you get to see it someday soon! Amazing work of art!

Ephraim Arriesgado said...
September 1, 2013 at 7:52 PM

The Blue Mosque is really an icon in Istanbul. I just viewed recently a feature about this mosque in TLC, and I immediately remembered this blog post. :)

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