Very shortly I am going to be heading off to Istanbul, Turkey. This will be my first trip there and I am amazingly excited for a variety of reasons. The first is that I get a chance to experience a brand new culture for the first time.
I get to meet brand new people and eat new foods (baklavaaaaaaaaaa!!!) and see brand new things that I’ve never seen in person. So that is awesome.
The second major reason I am so looking forward to the trip is that I’ve come to find that Istanbul (nee Byzantium & Constantinople) is the center of two of the most powerful religions on the planet; Christianity and Islam. It was the home of Emperor Constantine the Great (the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity) and became what was known as the New Rome. In fact, it is still the seat of the head of the Orthodox Church.
Further, as of 1453 it has been the center piece of the Muslim world as the pathway from Europe to Asia and is home to two of the most famous mosques in the world; the Hagia Sophia (now a museum) and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (or the Blue Mosque). In fact, I would argue that if you were to study the history of the Hagia Sophia, you would have a pretty good idea of the history of the city.
So, the adventurer in me is excited as I get to be in a new place and try new things, and the constant learner in me is looking forward to being around so much history.
I’ll be making fairly regular updates (as long as there is wireless) with neat tidbits, stray observations, and maybe some photos and videos. So, watch this space!