Istanbul: The Blue Mosque.

The most beautiful things you discover about the landscape of "Old Town" part of Istanbul are the mosques. You can walk down the street and see these massive structures with domed roofs in many places.

And the most well known one, I feel, is the Blue Mosque. (Or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, as it is actually called.)

It was easy to find; very close to my hotel. It sits opposite of another large structure, the Ayasofya. It is about 400 years old.

Inside the the courtyard of the mosque are beautiful landscaped gardens. Here's one area it seemed most people weren't paying attention to...

The Turkish flag.

Visiting the mosque is free, though you do need to wear proper clothing.

I came prepared. I was wearing a beach tunic and leggings. And I had a scarf in my bag to wrap around my head, as it is necessary for women to do when entering the mosque. For those that weren't prepared, there are monitors who check you before you go in, and allow you to borrow robes and scarves as needed. You have to take off your shoes before entering as well.

But when you do enter... What a beautiful site.

This is the ceiling. A stunning mixture of colors and patterns. I couldn't get enough of looking at the the gold and blue.

The patterns are everywhere. And the details so precise. Beautiful tile work.

So perfect.

I kept thinking that it would make a gorgeous china pattern.

There are carpets in the mosque. And they do smell, with the thousands of people that visit every day it is open.

But it's worth the visit. It's a quick visit too. I only spent about 30 minutes in the courtyard and in the mosque, combined. There wasn't any waiting to go in, so it was fast.