After a hot day in the sun from the day before, I thought I would just take it easy and meander without an agenda. My feet took me to the Blue Mosque. As this was my first solo trip, I found it rewarding, intoxicating even, to be completely free and on my own. I’m not sure why I chose to travel solo, especially to such a faraway place, but I am so glad I did. I thought I was being very brave (as well as very cool) for traveling solo until I met a 21-year old inside the Blue Mosque (she asked if I could take her picture). I learned that she was traveling on her very own for a few weeks. Wow. How small (as well as jealous) I felt after meeting her. This is precisely why one must travel–besides opening one’s mind it opens a new portal to the universe. There is a whole world out there with SO much to experience. It makes you realize how small your everyday life is and how little you know of the world. You then wonder what more there is, how big the world is, and how many other fantastic and amazing places, as well as people, you can meet and experience. My mind came back to the present moment where the just met girl and I exchanged stories of why we were in Turkey by ourselves. We both were met with the same reaction by others around us back home regarding our trip. Such reactions were: “Why would you go to a Muslim nation by yourself?” as well as, “Why Turkey?” We decided that the answer made the most sense with, “Why the hell not?”
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or The Blue Mosque, is named for the Blue Iznik tiles adorning the interior walls. Completed in the year 1616, it is an active mosque as Muslims were praying during my visit. Everyone is required to take their shoes off and carry them in a plastic bag while touring. As a result, there is a bad odor of feet throughout the entire mosque!!! The funny thing about this experience is that every time I look at my pictures of the Blue Mosque, I always smell feet! How strange this feels as I look at a thing of beauty!
Interior of the Blue Mosque
Gorgeous Iznik tiles. But…I smell feet!