I have wanted to see Aya Sofia since I first studied it in 10th grade art history. The guide book said I would be speechless; I thought the writers were being hyperbolic. I was wrong. As cheesy as it sounds, I literally got the chills when I walked in the 1500 year old space. When I finally saw the famous Virgin and Child mosaic, I said out loud in my head: "Hey Lady, we've had a date for 11 years. Nice to finally meet you." Realizing the absurdity of my internal monologue I actually laughed out loud attracting the attention of some near by tourists. I blushed and scampered off in the direction of something else totally beautiful.
In addition to the incredible architecture, almost equally as memorable was the comically profound stench of tourist feet in the Blue Mosque (where you are required to remove your shoes upon entering) as well as the little boys dressed up in elaborate sultanesque costumes.
Also, there are cats everywhere. Literally, everywhere.
Cisterns (last stop of the day)