Istanbul today (No Constantinople Jokes Please)

So today we hop on a plane and make the one hour flight over to a city with 15 million people in it. We get to see the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Whirling Dervishes, and the Chora Church (to name a few). It would be easy to say that I am excited. I love me some ruins, but there’s only so many Roman and Hellenistic theaters I can see before they start running together. I think we were given a little bit of overstimulation because the students had to resort to “site Jeopardy” in order to remember what ruin was at what site and on what day.

Either way the past two days have been pretty cool, so I’ll hit some of the highlights real quick before having to get on the bus for the airport.

That’s my feet in some thermal pools. When we visited Hieropolis, I didn’t know that I would get the chance to go see the supposed tomb of St. Phillip (it is believed now not to be) a pilgrimage site. What I also didn’t know was how drastic the calcium deposits/thermal pools were. The side of the cliff looks like snow against the background of the mountain. Here’s another look at it. 
As you can see, pretty awe-inspiring.
Pergamum was also a highlight of the trip because of the chance to visit the Acropolis of the city. The Acropolis was on top of a mountain so the view of the surrounding city/countryside was fantastic when the smog cleared. What is more is that there were some amazing mosaics that had been preserved. 
You can see the detail in each of the faces. I can’t imagine the time and talent it took to cut each of the individual stones to make those mosaics. 
So there you go, the two highs from the past two days. Sorry that’s all that I got right now, but this trip has taken a lot out of me. I’m hoping that I will give a more in depth blogpost over Istanbul seeing as I studied quite extensively the Byzantine era in college. This trip has been life-giving and life-changing and I’m expecting it to continue into the final three days. 

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