Day one in Istanbul and I thought I would do it all right, by the book as it were. Woken up at dawn by the first Call to Prayer of the day. My little hostel is between the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque and with the muezzins chanting from both I as well and truly awake. Thinking creatively I got up thinking, the light, the light. Went up onto the roof and watched the sun come up over the other side of the narrow sea that runs through Istanbul, the Bosphorus, Asia. Truly spectacular and yes, the light was perfect.
Back to my room and tried to sleep again, no such luck, so did the usual morning stuff except that all my shave jell had leaked, fortunately into the Heathrow security bag. Messy.
Still early I went down to Pub Street for breakfast, yoghurt and honey with an omelet. Then off to explore the mosques. Walked about and admired the architecture then began to feel weird. Headed back to hotel and decided I had sunstroke.
I didn’t do everything right, almost a total fail in fact. Got sick on day one!
Drank two bottles of water, ate two packets of biscuits, slept for four hours and felt better, great in fact. Back out into the heat, it was about 90 (32C) and paid to enter the Hagia Sophia. Truly spectacular dome but the feeling of vastness was marred by reconstruction, scaffolding from floor to dome. A bit disappointing. Walked through the park like area to the Blue Mosque and sat outside for an hour, people watching. Will go in for a visit later when there aren’t so many visitors.
The day did not go exactly as planned and for a while there I thought “oh no”, but as evening falls, the temperature drops and the marvel of the Blue Mosque fills my view from the rooftop, hey, it could have been worse.