Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Blue Mosque - October 19, 2013

After a delicious Turkish breakfast (more about that later), we were off to the Blue Mosque.  Click here to read all about it's history. My duty here is to tell you through pictures and a few words how incredibly beautiful this building is.  

First of all, it is huge!

The interior columns are gigantic!

Everything is in shades of blue, but the most impressive blue material are the tiles which cover the walls casting the entire building in a lovely blue light.

The windows are perfectly placed to capture light and bounce it from wall to wall.

The carpet underfoot adds yet another element of blue. 

 Ladies have their own praying area, but we did see a woman in Western dress leading an educational seminar.  The variety of dress we saw women wearing as well as their roles in the community was astounding.  Obviously, this is another area where stereotypes can be very deceiving.  There doesn't seem to be a "typical" Muslim. 

Speaking of the dress code for women, we saw very few burkas complete with the eye covering.  A few more women were wearing the style seen above, and many others wore plain coats in varying lengths with colorful scarves.  Most women we saw were wearing clothes that would be equally at home in the United States. 

All in all, the building was spectacular, but the human interest story was even better. 

I am so sorry this picture didn't turn out better.  You will just have to take my word for it that even though the guy on the right has my heart forever, the one on the left was one of the best looking men I've seen in a while. His job was to befriend tourists on the street and offer to show them a secret way to enter the Blue Mosque, therefore avoiding the loooooooong line at the main entrance.  Of course, I was game. 

As promised, he took us to a side entrance and showed us how to enter the line discretely.  We were inside the building before you could say, "Peace by with you." 

When we exited, he was there waiting for us. "Now," he said, "would you like to see my carpet shop?" There was only one answer.  Certainly!  We would love to visit the carpet shop.

 One last photo and we were on our way.

We looked at hundreds of rugs, but none intrigued me as much as watching this woman at her loom.

Her smile was enchanting

We finally agreed on a small tree-of-life rug, paid for it, and we were on our way to Haiga Sofia.