We got out of the taxi and looked around. A profusion of colour hit us through the drizzle. There was a yellow building, a blue building and next to it an ancient little house of bricks. It had a colourful boundary wall, half the size of a tall man. It comprised hundreds of broken ceramic pottery pieces stuck on the white plaster, spreading colour and bringing smiles to the people walking on the pavement. The wall next to the staircase going up was also beaming through its broken, coloured pieces of what were once beautiful pieces of clay shaped by capable and dexterous hands – with centuries of experience – into tiles and vases and bowls and plates; painted in as bright colours as the tulips and azaleas and pansies lined along the avenues and lawns. 

A little further at the end of the road I could see the slim and tall minarets of the Blue Mosque and opposite it the massive dome of Hagia Sophia; the Greek Orthodox Christian cathedral, built in 537 AD, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum. 

Centuries of heritage was in the air and scattered around. 

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