Foto Friday Favs

Dhofar, Oman

Dhofar, Oman

Amra Castle, Jordan

Amra Castle, Jordan

camel races, Oman

camel races, Oman

Chora Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

Chora Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

Deira, Dubai

Deira, Dubai

Ya'lla group at Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt

Ya’lla group at Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt

El Aqabat in Egypt's Western Desert

El Aqabat in Egypt’s Western Desert

Fez medina, Morocco

Fez medina, Morocco

Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo, Egypt

Ibn Tulun Mosque, Cairo, Egypt

on the Nile in Egypt

on the Nile in Egypt

WOW Places – Hagia Sophia, Karnak Temple, Sahara Desert

HAGIA SOPHIA, ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) rises like a rust-colored mountain near the end of Istanbul’s Historic Peninsula, overlooking the confluence of the Sea of Marmara, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Strait. The city originated on this peninsula and Hagia Sophia has been there almost since the beginning. OK, that’s not quite true, but it has been there for a very long time. The city originated, as Byzantium, in the 7th century BCE. In the 4th century, the Roman emperor Constantine claimed Byzantium as his capital and renamed the city Constantinople. Constantine was the first Christian emperor of Rome. The building we know as Hagia Sophia was built in 537 CE by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, on the ruins of two previous cathedrals. Hagia Sophia stood as the largest cathedral for almost 1,000 years. The dome spans over 100 feet and is 180 feet high. Upon conquering the city in 1453, Sultan Mehmet II was so impressed with the building, he made it his imperial mosque. The design of many subsequent mosques built in the city was influenced by the Hagia Sophia.

It’s very impressive from the outside but, for me, the real WOW experience happens inside. It’s just so big and wide-open, you really feel like a speck of dust in there. Continue reading

Foto Friday – Ya’lla Groups 4

Happy Friday. Some random shots of Ya’lla travelers:

at Ernest Hemingway's house in Cuba, Finca Vigia

at Ernest Hemingway’s house in Cuba, Finca Vigia

at Ernest Hemingway's house in Cuba, Finca Vigia

at Ernest Hemingway’s house in Cuba, Finca Vigia

in the Bastakiya district of old Dubai

in the Bastakiya district of old Dubai

at Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt

at Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt

at Caesarea, Israel

at Caesarea, Israel

at Caesarea, Israel

at Caesarea, Israel

at Masada, Israel

at Masada, Israel

at Bethany Beyond the Jordan in Jordan - likely baptism site of Jesus

at Bethany Beyond the Jordan in Jordan – likely baptism site of Jesus

a group on the tour bus in Oman

a group on the tour bus in Oman

in Oman

in Oman

at Pergamum, Turkey

at Pergamum, Turkey