Turkey and Kebab Delight ~ by Ryan

Istanbul was one of my favorite places to visit. Why? Because there were an endless amount of shops selling Turkish Delight, Baklava, and Doner Meat Kebabs.

Turkey Delights – photo by Deena Gainor

Istanbul is another place that is filled with history, like Rome, or Greece.  It was not always called Istanbul. Before the Turks conquered it, it was called Constantinople. Named after the first Christian Roman Emperor, it was the capital city of Rome.

Then, the Ottoman Turks conquered it, and it became Istanbul, a place of delicious dessert and very nice meat kebabs. But the Hagia Sophia, one of the more well known buildings of the world, was not built during the time of the Turks, although it has history of being a mosque as well.  It was built as a Greek Orthodox church, and the name meant: “Holy Wisdom.” When the turks invaded, they turned it into a mosque. Now, it is a museum.

Istanbul’s streets are lined with shops and restaurants, where you can buy jewelry, toys, chess sets, and even guitars.

Colorful Guitars – photo by Deena Gainor

The food is even better! They roast meat on a rotisserie for hours, letting everything become extremely flavorful and very tender. Then, they put it in pita bread, and let you put hummus and other amazing things on. Sound good?

Even if you don’t like that, just find a street with a dessert shop. They sell so many types of turkish delight and baklava it will make you dizzy. Pistachio, cranberry, even gum (and I’m not talking about Icebreakers.)  Flavored Turkish Delight can be found, and a number of different Baklavas, like Syrian Baklava, or Pistachio Baklava. Just don’t try their “coffee.”

Istanbul has a number of mosques that can be seen from pretty far away. The two most well known ones are the Blue Mosque, and the Hagia Sophia, which face each other. They are both very impressive architecturally, and both have had a history of different functions, acting as a church, a mosque, and now a massive tourist attraction.

The Blue Mosque – photo by Deena Gainor

If you are interested in the history of Rome, or seeing the great Mosques there, or just want to have a nice doner kebab, Istanbul is a great place to visit.

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