Istanbul! A city which evokes exotic images of East meets West, a city which spans two continents…
And a city which seemed to be completely under renovation when we visited!
Yes, it felt like every landmark and monument that I visited on my whistlestop tour of the city in September had something going on.
The Hagia Sophia Museum
Scaffolding reaching up to the ceiling obscuring one side of the mosque… CHECK!
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque)
One of the minarets dismantled and covered in scaffolding…CHECK!
The inside also covered in hoarding and the ceiling shrouded in cloth…CHECK!
The Basilica Cisterns
The Istanbul Archaeological Museums
The main museum building completely closed…CHECK!
It became a running joke! What would we find at the next place we visited?!!
But it was all fine, there was so much to see anyway. Of course it was disappointing in some circumstances, such as the cisterns having no water in them, but mainly the Blue Mosque. It was interesting to go inside, but was very disappointing to find the whole place covered up! I just couldn’t get a sense of what it should look like at all.
But, I totally understand that these buildings need care and attention and it’s good that they are getting it. And it certainly didn’t make our visit any less enjoyable…it just gave us an excuse to go back again once it’s all finished…as if I’d need the excuse anyway!
There is SO much to Istanbul (not just these wonders, but also the colourful and lively Grand and Spice bazaars!) and I feel that we only just scratched the surface on our visit!
What a great introduction to the city we had!