Index of Pictures / ..

  Agia Sophia. Blue Mosque. Us in front of Agia Sophia. The famous vaulted dome of Agia Sophia.  Note the lack of supporting pillars, this was quite an architectural achievement at the time.  The dome was undergoing reconstruction when we visited.  I actually thought the scaffolding had a certain beauty to it though. Murals and windows at Agia Sophia.  

  A gold-enrusted raised platform in Agia Sophia. View of Agia Sophia showing how the Christian and Islamic heritage are reflected in the remaining decoration. Emily in Agia Sophia. This pillar is supposed to bring good luck if you put your finger in it and swirl it around. Inside the pillar is moisture that collects from the air and the marble.  

  View from the upper level. Niko overlooking the scene. View of Blue Mosque from Agia Sophia. Amazing mosaic (one of many). Blue mosque and fountains.  

  Underwater cistern that dates from the Byzantine era.  It was found quite by accident: a local explorer was investigating reports of a mysterious hole in the groud where lower buckets to get fresh water and even go fishing.  He found a massive water cistern that had been long forgotten and buried under debris. The pillars supporting the cistern reused work from temples and elsewhere. Another shot of the cistern. View of the Galata Tower form across the Golden Horn.  The tower was built by the Genoese in the medieval era. Niko enjoying a coffee on the Atatük bridge.  

  Emily showing off our coffees. View of the cafe where we were sitting. The New Mosque (Yeni Camii) and the area around the Atatük bridge. The Fairy chimneys and their many caves  

  Us taking a hike through beautiful countryside. Paintings from El Nazar Kilise, a Byzantine-era church carved out of a fairy chimney. El Nazar Kilise from the outside. There were a lot of farms growing various ground-hugging vines bearing grapes and squashes. Squash city.  

  A field of mysterious white rock domes. We took a lot of hikes through the country.  It was relatively easy to navigate so long as you stayed on the rides, because you could see very far, but the valleys were also beautiful to walk through. I even got Emily to go We left our tripod at a home and I bought a new one on the way.  Unfortunately it's not very tall, so unless we could fasten it to a tree or something we had to kneel!  But it makes for a nice aesthetic, don't you think?  Here Emily is waiting while I set it up. Us together. Hand-held shot of the two of us.  Doesn't my hat look dapper?  

  Dinner at a village restaurant with a nice view. Dinner at a village restaurant with a nice view.  

  Church at the Göreme Open Air Museum.  I love this one because you can see how the fresco styles evolved from the simpler designs to more ornate. Vivid, older-style decoration.  

  This table served as the Monk's dining area... ...which of course meant we must take a mandatory eating shot.  It's what Papa would do, after all. Later-era frescos, very well preserved.  

  This is the Göreme open air museum.  It used to be a monastery.  The caves were expanded and used as chapels, dining areas, stables, etc. Exposed carvings show what the interiors of some caves looked like.  

  Börek, a tasty Turkish speciality and one of the few vegetarian things to eat.  Basically tiropita.  In the back you can see Gözeme, which are essentially Turkish quesadillas.  

  While hiking through a high mountain path, we came across this little chapel.  The next few pictures will slowly zoom out to give you an idea of the setting. You can still see the stairs to the chapel we've been looking at in the center of the picture if you look closely. Goodbye chapel. Çavuşin features the ruins of an old village.  Those were houses, now long abandoned.  

  View of Göreme at night, taken from our hotel room.  The carpet store you see was also owned by a relative of Sergio, the guy who ran our hotel. Derinkuyu underground city: part of a vast network of underground cities where the Byzantine villagers would hide when marauders came through their areas.  They were prepared for defense, with numerous small passages that could be easily sealed, and ran as many as seven levels deep.  They were also connected to other underground cities via miles-long tunnels.  Incredible.  

  Berries were in season on our walk.  Tasty. Ihlara Valley.  

  Selime Kalesi, a vast monastery and castle high in the hills.  A guide told us that they used to brew Turkish Raki (more like Ouzo) in the caves there before it was made into a protected area.  

  Local restaurant in Göreme which made The birthday girl. The famous pottery kebap.  Not sure why it's called a kebap.  

  Rather phallic rock formations.  

  We had internet at our hotel.  

  Entrance to the Grand bazaar. Winding streets of Istanbul. Inside of the Grand bazaar.  Not as many little vendors sitting on carpets hawking goods as I'd hoped (i.e., none), but still cool.  

  Courtyard of the New Mosque. Inside the New Mosque. Note the environmentally-friendly bulbs in use!  I'm not sure how they even get power.  

  Fishing in the Golden Horn. Local boats that fry up fresh fish and serve it to land-lubbers. New mosque.  

  Unfortunately Constatine's pillar was being renovated when we came. This pillar once recorded the distances to every location in the Byzantine empire.  You can see how much the ground level has changed since then.  

  Entrance to the Blue Mosque. Blue Mosque. Note the wide pillars supporting the dome.  Even though the Blue Mosque was built far after Agia Sophia, it doesn't replicate the same sense of magical suspension.  

  Plan showing how the palace looked in the Byzantine days. Portion of the massive mosaic dining hall floor in the old castle.  This portion shows kids at play and scenes from everyday life.  

  Chora church.  The next few slides show the amazing mosaics within. Chora church. Chora church. Chora church.  

  Chora church. Chora church. Chora church. Chora church. Chora church.  

  Aqueduct. View of Sea of Marmarus from our hotel. Line of people waiting for the ferry that goes down the Bosphorus: in the guidebooks, they tell you to arrive early, so we arrived an hour or two in advance.  Sure enough, the line had already started!  But we did get good seats. On the Bosphorus ferry.  

   

  The end of the Bosphorus: the castle on the mountain is Anadolu Kavaği Kalesi, and it offers good views of the Black Sea. Black sea.  

  Us sitting on some rocks at the castle.   My tiny tripod strikes again!  We had a tasty lunch of Turkish tinned goods, while fending away somewhat aggressive but not dangerous wild dogs who wanted handouts. Ugly boat and Turkish flag headed to the Black Sea. Anadolu Kavaği Kalesi  

  Rumeli Hisarı, a fortress built by Mehmet the Conquerer to storm Constantinople. Spongebob in Turkish.  C, this one's for you.  

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