I (probably over-) paid for a tour guide for the Hagia, but it was just for the two of us, and it got us into the museum far ahead of what we would have waiting in the crush. The history and wear on the stones really struck me. The marble steps in some places had worn down to being a smooth ramp, rather than a stair, and the mix of Christian and Muslim art and mosaics was interesting.
I was less impressed with the Blue Mosque. A lot of it was behind screens and remained hidden. I don’t know if it was for renovation or otherwise. Also, the crush of people in the entryway was overwhelming, as was the smell of feet. Yes, feet. Everyone had to remove their shoes before entering. Maybe all I was smelling was my own Hokas with 500 trail miles on them, but maybe not. All females had to wear a headscarf, and nobody was allowed in wearing shorts. We did the walkabout inside then headed to wander the streets.
Lunch was Adana kebabs for me and something with chicken and apparently delicious for Spencer, seeing as it was gone quickly. We each had a local beer (Bomonti filtered and unfiltered) to go along with it. Total cost was about $20. Not bad.