SNOW’s Road to Sochi – Day 2 Istanbul

By Joan Valentine

Outside the Grand Bazaar preparing to attack the 4,000 stalls with Olympic-style shopping fervor!
A new competitive spirit here today…no wonder the Turks don’t really aspire to Winter sports. They are too busy building things. Istanbul alone, has 3,113 Mosques and we managed to see 3 of them. I love the fact that the people of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires  were so good at recycling. Why build a new mosque, when you can reuse a Greek Orthodox Church?  Why build new pillars, when you can reuse earthquake damaged ones?   Medusa’s head looks fantastic as it bolsters pillars that are slightly too short in the fascinating underground Basilica Cistern.
Gold Medal moment of the day: Bumping into US Nordic Skier, Simi Hamilton’s family (and fellow Aspenites) while touring the Hagia Sofia…. Ahhh, it’s a small world AFTER ALL. Go Team USA!