Tag Archives: mosque

5 days in Istanbul

Ayasofya columns

I flew to Istanbul for a job interview at a university for an English teaching position. I also spent a couple of days exploring the historic sections of the city, visiting Ayasofya, the Suleyman Mosque, and other areas. Istanbul is a fascinating place, and I barely scratched the surface. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the teaching job, but having a short holliday in the city and sampling some of its delicious food made the trip worthwhile.


Ayasofya from Karakoy ed3 sm

Ayasofya from Karakoy pier


My first view of the old city of Istanbul was from the Karakoy pier, looking across the Golden Horn toward the New Mosque, Ayasofya, and the Blue Mosque. I traveled mainly on foot, crossing the Galata bridge several times, as well as by tram. The sky was deep blue, the sunlight strong, and temperatures warm.

Among my favorite experiences: a huge breafast of eggs, cheese, bread, and olives in Karakoy, eating superb baklava at Karakoy Gulluoglu, observing the huge local cat population, and a side trip to view what remain of Istanbul’s Ottoman-era wooden houses in the Zeyrek area.


side street sm

street view in Beyoglu district


Grand Bazaar_opt

Spice Market



Ayasofya interior. sm

Ayasofya interior



across the Galata Bridge




cemetery cat 1_opt

cemetery cat



tram street 2_opt




baklava 2

baklava at Karakoy Gulluoglu

looking back

As I continue to re-edit my travel photos from 2010, I’m revisiting some of my unbelievable experiences from that trip. It also gives me something to do as I navigate the spring allergy season in Chengdu.

My eyes are constantly stinging and watery, my sinuses feel like someone shoved a fistful of dry pine needles up my nose, my breathing is labored and shallow, and my cough persistent.  This is the worst allergy season in recent memory.  The other day I decided to visit my favorite massage therapist, but before I even reached the university gate I was gasping for breath and wheezing.  I gave it up. My next purchase:  a deionizer to purify the air in my apartment. And a face mask.



Watcher – Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque), Delhi, India



Sher-e-Punjab Restaurant, Manali, India –  before the dinner rush



Blurred monk photographer, Dharamsala, India – below Bagsu Falls




Group – main square, Dharamsala, India



Old town Varanasi, India – lone walker