Today Michael went to Sabanci University to speak but had an interesting trip. It went something like this…..
- Board tram…….Exit tram……
- Enter Taxi……Ride in taxi for short distance (driver has no idea where to go) …….Exit Taxi
- Enter second Taxi ……Listen to taxi driver talk confusedly on phone (obviously asking where to go)……..Call host and let him talk to taxi driver……..Stop at Bus Stop to ask for directions……. Circle bus stop intersection THREE times……. Stop and ask Police for directions…… Call someone else to ask for directions……Call host again….. Pick up friend on side of road……Drive short distance…..Let friend out……Pull into gas station…..Ask person filling car for directions…….Honk at Pizza Delivery man on motorcycle……Pizza Delivery man says to follow him……. arrive at University……enter gate……guard gives taxi driver instructions for how to get to building……taxi driver gets lost and drives AROUND building…… Call host again and spot him walking to meet taxi.
- Note to self……Do NOT use taxi to return to hotel!!!!!
While he was living this nightmare, I was happily winging my way on the tram heading in the other direction. When I arrived, Rick Steves’ navigated me thru the streets and an older man pointed me thru the last turn.
This was my first view of the Chora Church…..
It was built in 1100 after the original church was destroyed by an earthquake. It was damaged greatly by Crusaders in the 1200’s and was resurrected in the 1300’s. It was during this final incarnation that the gorgeous Byzantine mosaic tiles were added. It was turned into a Mosque in the 16th century and the mosaic’s were covered with white-wash. Also, the bell tower was replaced with a Minaret and a Muslim “Prayer Niche” was added. In the 1940’s, the mosaic’s were discovered and restored.
You can see where they have “cross-hatched” areas with paint to fill in the missing tiles.
While I was walking, a small bus stopped to see if I wanted to ride. I have now learned that they keep to a certain route but you can flag them down anywhere along the route and don’t have to wait for a specific stop.
My plan had been to enter the Mosque courtyard and take a seat at the very back of the area and just quietly watch. Unfortunately, that was not allowed and all tourist were ushered out of the courtyard before the service began.
Oh well, on to plan “B”….. I had one last museum on the Pass, so I made my way to the Archaeology Museum.
I spent several hours in the museum and really enjoyed what I saw. Since I knew that I would NEVER remember any of the names and dates, I decided to focus on detail as I had in the Chora Church.
As usual, I found another quilting design….. At this point I ended up in a Mausoleum area and enjoyed taking photos of the various faces. I thought that it was funny that the camera kept looking for a smile to focus on…..
Unfortunately, it was really hot and stuffy up there so I didn’t stay very long, although it was one of my favorite areas.
This is me walking in the middle of the street because there is a bus driving on the SIDEWALK. A person driving in the street got mad at me and wanted me to move, but he was a lot smaller than the bus so I stayed put!!!!!
….but it DID get my attention!!!!
I wasn’t sure what this was but have now found out that this is a lollipop vendor where you pick the flavors of your candy and they make it while you wait. I am going to try to get one before I leave….. A last walk thru the Hippodrome on my way back to the hotel and, of course, I trip over the ONE screw sticking up in the entire area….. I spent the next few hours at the hotel waiting for Michael to get home from the University. He ended up taking a shuttle from the University to the trams and the tram home. I met him at his stop and we had a quiet dinner together.
The evening was spent sitting on the terrace and watching the Blue Mosque fade into the dark. It is normally lit, but tonight only one light came on. We all laughed that they must have forgotten to pay the bill.