Ayasofya, Istanbul, Turkey

Ayasofya was a Christian church when it was first built but later became a mosque. Nowadays, it is a national museum. It’s hard to believe that such a delicate architecture was built more than a thousand years ago. Due to the “multi-function” of Ayasofya in the history, you can find both mosaic illustrating that the Emperor and Empress making donation to the Christ Pantocrator and various kinds of traditional Islamic calligraphy. Looking out of the window on the second floor, you will also get a fabulous view of the Blue Mosque!

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Galata Bridge, Istanbul, Turkey

Stand on the top of the Galata Tower at sunset, overlooking the Golden Horn. The Galata Bridge connects the two European parts of Istanbul — the “new” city in the north and the “old” city in the south. Fishermen are still gathering there on the bridge; they count how many fish they catch today and say goodbye to each other. On the south bank, life goes on without noticing the night falls: food carts attract long lines of tourists who wish to try out the authentic local food, street performance earns rounds of applause, cruise ships come and go…It must be yet another lively night. And the sunset prayer begins. The music seem to come from everywhere in the city, one after another, lingering in the ears. So this is Istanbul, a city sits between Europe and Asia, a city embraces diverse race and religion, a city different from any other city I’ve visited before. Exciting isn’t it?

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