Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Turkey 2011 Chapter One ISTANBUL

Last year my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Turkey with a cultural exchange group. This was not the usual tourist trip. We visited television stations, newspapers and government offices. We were hosted by different groups around the country for lunch and dinner. What made the experience really different were the home visits with families who shared meals and conversation with us.  The Turkish people are very welcoming and interested in Americans.

Arrival in Istanbul

Kariye (Chora) Museum

Kariye Museum has served as both mosque and church depending on the times.The museum was one of my favorite attractions in Istanbul.

Suleymaniye Mosque

The Old Wall - Istanbul

Part of the city of Istanbul is in Europe and part in Asia. We crossed this bridge to the Asian side for lunch on Camlica Hill. The views were spectacular.

View from Camlica Hill

Here I am at Topkapi Palace with a view of the Bosphorus.

Tile work at Topkapi Palace.

Closeup of tiles in the palace. The old patterns are still used in Turkey today. I bought several silk scarves with old tile patterns. There are ceramics of all sorts with the old patterns and colors available for purchase.

Husband Jim at the palace.

The sultans lived very well in olden times.

There were feral cats all around Turkey. They do not respond to "kitty, kitty". I don't know if it is a language or attitude problem. I photographed several and this is my favorite.

Underground Cistern - ancient water supply. There was a story about these sculptures but I don't remember. I just thought they were interesting. I do remember there were fish in the water to indicate if the water was safe. If the fish died - don't drink the water. We drank bottled water!

Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)

It is called the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles.

The Obelisk of Theodosius

Hagia Sophia - Another building that has served as mosque or church depending on the conquering regime. It is now a museum displaying both Muslim calligraphy and Christian symbols.

When a church became a mosque the Christian paintings and mosiacs were covered over. Once the building became a museum the Christian paintings were uncovered.  In the Hagia Sophia and Kariye (Chora) Museums both Muslim calligraphy and Christian symbols are now visible.

Outside the Hagia Sophia

Ciragan Palace

We took a boat ride on the Bosphorus. The views from the water offered a different perspective of the city. Above Ciragan Palace was preparing for an afternoon wedding.

We got very close this this huge container ship.

I've enjoyed sharing my time in Istanbul with you. From Istanbul we took the ferry to Mudanya and spent several days in Bursa. In Turkey Chapter Two I will share Bursa with you with a day trip to Ephesus. Join me then.

♥andPeace, Myra

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