Sunday Special – Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Istanbul is an amazing city in my opinion. In fact, only Paris surpasses it as my favourite. I spent a mere four days there in 2015 however it has imprinted upon me a lasting impression of beauty and history.  Although there are numerous mosques in this city of nearly 15 million the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, or the “Blue Mosque” as it is commonly referred to by tourists, is the most well-known and recognized. Taking eight years to build (1609 – 1616 C.E.) by order of Sultan Ahmed I, it has five large domes and six minarets along with several smaller domes. Within its walls are thousands upon thousands of blue Iznik tiles which why it is referred to as ‘The Blue Mosque’. To this day it continues to serve as a mosque, allowing Muslims to come to prayer five times per day. At these times the mosque is closed to tourists and non-Muslims.  As this is a popular attraction do expect queues during visiting times. I recall long lines yet they moved quickly.  I was glad to know that I could take non-flash photos in this stunning example of Ottoman architecture. It really was fascinating to see. I look forward to when I return to the Blue Mosque and Istanbul with my sister at some point in the future.

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World

Istanbul’s Blue Mosque

Within the mosque’s courtyard

The beautiful interior


Liebster Award



I am glad to say that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by fellow blogger Linda at Draw My Map. Thank you for the nomination. I do apologize that it has taken me so long to post but better late than never!  So here goes.

Remember to check out below to see which 11 bloggers I nominate!

My answer’s to Draw My Map’s questions:

  1. Describe your blog in 5 words
    About me and the world.
  2. What would your ideal weekend look like?
    A quick getaway to a new destination or a re-visit a favourite. If I have to stay in town then I would like to go to yoga, go out with friends for an evening and then relax at home on Sunday with some cooking.
  3. Which has been your favourite destination so far?
    Oh that’s a tough one. By far my favourite country is Ireland. The people are so friendly and likable and the landscape is stunning. It’s a unique shade of green. However, for cities I would say my favourite is Paris with Istanbul and Belgrade close behind. Oh but India was amazing too. And Budapest. And Prague…and… and…
  4. Would you rather go skiing or lie on a beach?
    I hate snow so I’d pick the beach but checking out a city would usurp the beach.
  5. What made you want to start a blog?
    To share and write about my travel plans and to keep me focused on reaching my goal of extended travel. I was also encouraged to start one from a few people. The power of suggestion!
  6. Is there anywhere you have been that you would never visit again? Yes. I never want to go to Athens, Greece again. It’s chaotic, in disrepair, smoggy and uncouth.
  7. Name the top three destinations on your travel wish list.
    1. Re-visit Ireland + add Scotland
    2. Easter Island (Chile)
    3. Vietnam & re-visiting India (tie)
    Though these tend to change often – LOL
  8. In which country have you met the friendliest locals so far? Ireland by far.
  9. City or small town? I’m a city girl, well, medium-sized city.
  10. Do you like to spend time in nature? Some. I love trees and being around them, going for walks and enjoying fresh air. I want to start hiking. I’ve never gone camping and don’t really have a desire to do so.
  11. Do like to have everything organised, booked and planned before you leave for your trip or do you like to wing it and see where the wind takes you? About 70% organized and 30% winging it. I like to know where I’m gonna go and what I want to see but also leave some room for spontaneous events.

How the Liebster Award nominations work:

  • each nominee must link back the person who nominated them
  • answer the 11 questions
  • nominate 11 other bloggers for this award who have less than 500 followers
  • create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • you can’t nominate the one who tagged you
  • let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

My nominations for The Liebster Award are as follows:

  1.  Wandering Dragon
  2.  Love The Fold
  3.  Robin T Photo
  4.  Sdoonthego
  5.  Going Around The World
  6.  World Travellerz
  7.  Vegucated in Vancouver
  8.  WellEmma
  9.  Mexico: Live it, Love it
  10.  Where is Noodles?

My questions for the nominees are:

  1. If you could visit one destination in the world, where would it be?
  2. Which book is your favourite and why?
  3. Can you speak another language(s) and if so, which one(s)?
  4. What is the most bizarre food you’ve eaten?
  5. Would you travel solo?
  6. What are your 3 essentials you take with you when travelling?
  7. Do you prefer sweet or savory foods?
  8. Is your preference beers, wines or cocktails?
  9. How did you start blogging?
  10. How many languages can you say “thank you” in?
  11. Where have you experienced the most extreme culture shock?


The Map Project – Istanbul, Turkey

I’m loving The Map Project posts! I hope you are as well. Today we head to Istanbul, Turkey courtesy of Deklan. Enjoy!


Hi it’s Deklan! I am happy to share Eeva’s adventure in Istanbul for her blog today.

Istanbul is a very big city in Turkey. It has 18% of the country’s inhabitants. It is in Europe and Asia. It is on the coast of the Black Sea.

It is the only city in the world that is on two continents.  It is not the capital of Turkey, Ankara is the real capital since it became the Republic of Turkey in 1923

When Eeva was in Istanbul, she sent us pictures and a video of the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi.   I loved them!  I loved how they danced and twirled around and around so much.  I tried to do it too for a long time but I got really dizzy and fell down.  I tried to tilt my head like them too.  Seeing these dancers was my favourite part of Eeva’s big trip!

All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju/Wanders The World

The Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

Interior of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Interior of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Whirling Dervish

Whirling Dervish