Our day 22 itinerary are attractions around our hotel, Star Holiday Hotel which is within short walking distances. From Sultanahmet (Blue) mosque, we headed to Hagia Sophia. We do not know why, but even on this third visit to Istanbul, we have no inclination to go inside. Not that the ticket queue is terribly long, we could easily be the first due to the close proximity of our hotel but the urge isn’t there. The difference this time, there is a tulip carpet in-front of it reputed to be the world’s largest. So it will just be pictures of the exterior.
(Update: We finally visited Hagia Sophia in 2017. Read it here.)
Walking route from Blue mosque to Hagia Sophia. It is actually just across Sultan Ahmet park.
Queues like this is common getting into Hagia Sophia. Credit : reiendaa.blogspot.com
Hagia Sophia from across Sultanahmet park.
Spring flowers blooming.
Another angle of Hagia Sophia.
World’s largest ‘Tulip Carpet’ in-front of Hagia Sophia.
After dinner, we walk over to Sultanahmet Park. It’s close to our hotel and a minute’s walk we are there. Sultanahmet Park is a lovely small park in between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. In the middle it has a large illuminated fountain which changes color. The park provides a spectacular view of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque especially at night when both are lit up.
Hagia Sophia from behind the fountain.
Tulip garden in-front of Hagia Sophia in April.
Different varieties, colors and forms of tulips.
Pink tulips near a bench.
White tulips in Sultanahmet Park.
Sultanahmet Park facing Sultanahmet Mosque a.k.a. the Blue Mosque.