Today’s Ride to Church comes to us from Michael Nielsen (a Ride to Church veteran: see here). Michael writes:
We spent this Christmas in Istanbul, visiting our friend Metin who stayed with us when he was studying in Georgia. He was an excellent guide, and showed us the city’s jewels for a week before we visited his home town of Trabzon. If you feel somewhat adventurous and can find your way there, Istanbul is truly an amazing city. The history of the place is everywhere; the city is immense at some 14 million; the food is delicious; and the people are the most generous and warm that we’ve ever encountered. The city’s religious life is interesting. Its Muslim culture is unmistakable, as is its secular government. The result is a mix of traditional conservatism and modern life that is reminiscent of Mormonism in some ways. On this Christmas Day we visited three houses of worship: Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Haggia Sophia (now a museum), and New Mosque (Yeni Cami).