Andy had an earlier flight back home than I did, so on my last day I took a trip out to the Chora church, also known as the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora. This is definitely one of my favourite places of all the sights I've seen on my travels. I had never heard of it before planning my trip to Istanbul, and I don't think I had much idea of what to expect there, except that it was an old church with well-preserved mosaics. The building mostly dates from the 11th century, with interior mosaics and frescoes from the early 14th century.
It was a bit off the beaten track, out of the centre, and when I got into the surrounding neighbourhood (on foot) I got pretty lost. I didn't put this on the blog at the time, because I thought my mum would kill me, but I ended up asking a Turkish couple I came across for directions, and even though they couldn't speak any English and they were clearly coming back from a shopping trip and unloading their car, they went out of their way to drive me the rest of the way to the church. So nice! I found that, when I was with Andy, who sticks out as English from a mile off, we would get hassled on the streets by people trying to sell us stuff, but as soon as I was on my own I had people coming up speaking Turkish to me, so I must blend in!
It was well worth the effort to find the place, as I was just blown away. It was really, really beautiful. Not super big, but covered with amazing mosaics and frescoes. Now that I've been to St. Mark's in Venice, I can see the similarities, but while Chora is obviously not on the same scale, you get a more intimate experience, up-close-and-personal, and at least in January, there are obviously not as many tourists.
Photos never really do these things justice, but here are some of mine anyway! This really makes me want to go back and visit Chora again.
And... back to the present. A certain Queen of all that's Coquine keeps encouraging me with my Sultry Kitchen Photos™, so here's another new dress from the sales.