Monday, June 18, 2012

Frenzied Friday….

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…..

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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.

This is the first scene that you see upon entering…..DSC04288

One of the first things that I noticed was that the tiles had been disturbed and removed from the lower parts of the mosaics (where people could get to them)….DSC04290

The ceilings held mosaics as well with many showing scenes from the life of Christ. DSC04289 

There were two halls on each side of the main church and they were all covered with mosaics….. DSC04294
I particularly enjoyed the tiles in this window arch…..  DSC04300

This little cutie couldn’t be bothered checking out the mosaics…..except for the ones wandering in his sleeping mind!!!!DSC04302 As I took photos, I enjoyed focusing on details of the images……DSC04307

You can see where they have “cross-hatched” areas with paint to fill in the missing tiles.

DSC04308  As I walked back toward the Tram, I found this row of cute houses and like both the shape and the colors….. DSC04323

I also passed this monument to Sultan Mehmet…..DSC04326 

I also liked the colors of the wares that this guy was selling…..DSC04328

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.

Now, my plan was to get to the Blue Mosque in time for the Noon-time Call to Prayer and service.  I hurried there and followed every manner of person entering the Mosque….DSC04330

The men’s ablution area was “awash” (pun intended) with people waiting their turn…..DSC04331

Remember that the Friday Noon-time prayer is the biggest service of the entire week so people were clamoring to get there.DSC04333

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.

Fortunately, someone else pointed out this interesting  “tourist trap” before I hit it, but there were several of these in the MIDDLE of the sidewalk…..DSC04335

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.

This little guy caught my eye at the museum entrance….DSC04346 I liked the lions (there were three), but I don’t think that the really fit with the daisy flowers….DSC04352

I love these Sanskrit tablets….. DSC04357  DSC04360

I liked this guy’s face…..DSC04364 …..and foot……DSC04365

As usual, I found another quilting design…..DSC04371 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…..DSC04376

I am not sure what I like best about this photo….the face carved in stone or the shadow of my hand with my bangles being silhouetted.DSC04391 DSC04392 These two “mourning” women were wonderfully rendered…..

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and I loved how this mosaic soldier looks as if he is peeking out of the frame……DSC04438

I climbed to the third floor of the building, and enjoyed the shape and designs of the various urns and vases…..DSC04448 DSC04452 DSC04457

Unfortunately, it was really hot and stuffy up there so I didn’t stay very long, although it was one of my favorite areas.

I laughed at the display method for this great urn……DSC04465

There was one other building in this compound and it was calling my name….and you can see why……DSC04466

I like this next tile design and spent several minutes trying to figure out how I could piece it out of fabric  (see why Michael doesn’t do museums with me!!)….DSC04471 

 

Since I am always attracted to Peacocks, you can see why I liked this “Fountain of Life”……DSC04472

…although I REALLY liked these flower designs……DSC04473

I followed this young couple out of the park and realized that it seem incongruous for him to be in casual clothes and her to be in draped attire, but this is a scene that plays out everywhere……DSC04478

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!!!!!DSC04481

I am not sure of the purpose of this sign……DSC04482

….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…..DSC04484  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…..DSC04493  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.

1 comment:

Maggi said...

Fantastic images of the Chora Church and the Archeology Museum. I'm glad that Michael got here in the end and that he had a less eventful return journey. I do hope that you didn't do too much damage to yourself when you tripped over.

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