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On my recent trip to Iraq, I had an 11 hour layover Turkey. LuckilyTurkish Airlines offered me a hotel, but who has time to rest when there is city to be explored? So I dropped the bags off at the hotel and ventured into Eski Istanbul (Old City).

First stop was the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, commonly referred to as the Blue Mosque. Unfortunately the mosque itself was closed at the time I was there (2AM) but I still got to witness its Classical- Islamic architecture from the outside.

Right across the Blue Mosque was Hagia Sophia, which was a Church, then Mosque, and now museum.

Even for such an odd time, the streets were still alive. 

Whirling Dervish at a local lounge.

Fresh squeezed pomegranate juice. I wish there were stalls like this in the states. 

Iskender Kebab. Grilled lamb kabob with fresh tomato sauce placed on layer fried bread and topped with butter and yogurt. 

Next up was my favorite part, dessert. Hafiz Mustafa 1864 is perhaps the most popular pastry shop in Turkey, and it sure does live up to its reputation. 

I wish i could try everything in the shop, but even I can only eat so much. Here is some of what I tried

Assortment of Turkish Delights 

Probably my favorite thing here was the traditional baked rice pudding. 

Couldn't leave without having tea to wash it all down. 

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