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Muslim Call To Prayer In Istanbul – The Spell Is Cast

ROOM WITH A MAGICAL VIEW | Sharon Henry

The week before our visit to Istanbul, microscopic plankton invaded the Bosphorus strait and turned the water such a dazzling turquoise it made headline news around the world.  The tiny organisms were still working their magic on our arrival and we could see the phenomenon from our top floor hotel room.

The porter was visibly chuffed with our initial reaction to the view.  It was early morning and the sun had painted the Turkish city shades of pink and gold.  Directly ahead stood the elegant dome and minarets of the Hagia Sofia museum, on the right sat the equally grand Blue Mosque and the magical Bosphorus shimmered in the distance to the left.  The view was so gorgeous it made my heart skip.

Muslim Call To Prayer In Istanbul – Arriving in the city at dawn we watched the sun come up over Istanbul from our hotel balcony.

Shampoo, Cherries and Coffee – It’s The Little Things

This was our first trip to Turkey.  Istanbul made headlines last year for very different reasons and family and friends did a double-take at our choice of holiday destination given the political unrest and terrorist attacks.  We would’ve done the same save for a feature on BBC’s Travel Show changing our minds.  Understandably the country was experiencing a slowdown in tourism but the Beeb thought now was a good time to visit.  We booked accommodation at a bargain price right in the heart of the Sultanahmet cultural centre.

We’re suckers for free stuff and the hotel’s good footing continued with a welcome gift of wine and a fruit bowl.  I ran an inspection of the balcony, toiletries, coffee and tea facilities whilst Darrin tested the WiFi and self-closing drawers.  Unashamedly the novelty of a new hotel room never wears off for both of us!

Black Out Curtains and Jet Lag

Outside was a world of wonder just waiting to be explored, but we were suffering the effects of a sequence of long haul flights and flopped onto the bed exhausted.

Landing in a new country can be quite disorientating, getting to grips with the strange language, culture and currency can throw you off-kilter, not to mention time zones so it’s best done with a clear head – no matter how excited you are to see the sights (lesson learned in Bangkok.)

So we closed the curtains on the magnificent view and dozed off inside our darkened cocoon lulled by the quiet hum of the ac unit.

Arriving in our hotel room in Istanbul, golden sunshine of the early morning streaming in.

Welcome to Istanbul – our complimentary wine and fruit bowl.

The Muslim Call To Prayer In Istanbul rings out across the city six times a day, including two hours before dawn!

The Hagia Sofia museum is one of the places the Muslim Call To Prayer In Istanbul is broadcast from. The view of this spectacular building is from our hotel room.

Muslim Call To Prayer In Istanbul – Darrin on the balcony excited by the beautiful light illuminating the Hagia Sofia on our first evening in Istanbul.

The Awakening – The Muslim Call To Prayer in Istanbul

A few hours later a loud voice woke us, a sound so alien it took a moment to register.  It was our first experience of a Muslim call to prayer in Istanbul.  Having only heard this in movies I leapt out of bed and rushed onto the balcony for a better listen.  The singing in a foreign tongue reverberated across the city amplified by speakers mounted on the minarets of the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque.  Our close proximity gave us front row seats to a chant so soulful it stirred something within, quickly reminding me I was in an exotic and faraway land.

And that’s when it happened – just how the plankton did magic on the river, the city cast a spell on me – I was bewitched and ready to discover Istanbul.

We were lucky enough to see the stunning turquoise colour of the Bosphorus strait during our visit.

Have a listen to our audio recording (apologies for the low quality) of the Muslim Call to Prayer in Istanbul done from our balcony one evening.

COMMENTS

  • Chris Pashley

    September 12, 2017

    Well written up, SharroN, very evocative of the considerable time I spent in OmaN; no microscopic plankton there but lots of other wildlife. Enjoy your travels and don’t let Darrin drink all the wine!

  • Elaine

    August 28, 2017

    Brilliant! I learnt something new, didnt know about the call to prayer. Just gave me a glimpse of what its like there, amazing!

  • Jean Fowler

    August 28, 2017

    Beautiful write-up and pics. And that call to prayer is so soothing. Well done Guys.

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