Hagia Sophia (circa 550), one of the world’s greatest buildings

September 20 2015  Istanbul   The Hagia (Holy) Sophia (Wisdom) is a stunning domed building built as a Greek Orthodox cathedral in 537 when Istanbul, then called Constantinople,  was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire(also known as the Byzantine Empire).  Between 1204 and 1261 it was a Roman Catholic cathedral.   Following the conquering … Read moreHagia Sophia (circa 550), one of the world’s greatest buildings

Istanbul Modern is another pleasant surprise

The Istanbul Modern is another pleasant surprise in a city full of them.  The artists on exhibit when I visited yesterday were mostly Turkish, some trained here and others in the US and I think one or two in Germany.  Most of the work is representational but very creative in a modernist sort of way, … Read moreIstanbul Modern is another pleasant surprise

Ferry up the Bosphorous

September 18, 2015 We took the ferry north on the Bosphorous today.  The busy waterway connecting the Mediteranean with the Black Sea is lined with many palaces and houses.  The constant breeze you get on shore is amplified as we head into it, keeping the boat cool in the warm sun.

The Grand Bazaar, Istanbil

September 22, 2015 The Grand Bazaar,  also called  ‘Covered Bazaar’ in Turkish is one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets in the world.  There are 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops.  About 90 million enter the halls every year, the world’s most visited place  (http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/worlds-most-visited-tourist-attractions/2) We came on a slow day, fortunately.  The place is overwhelming … Read moreThe Grand Bazaar, Istanbil

Galata Bridge, teeming with aromas, sounds and sights

September 24, 2015 At the Galata Bridge it’s always lively.  So many sights and aromas, thousands of people, ferries, trams, cars, scooters.  Western dress, some women wearing scarves with western dress, in tradition attire.  No hijabs today.  Small groups of teen boys, few of teen girls. Below, a small boat serves as a kitchen.  They make … Read moreGalata Bridge, teeming with aromas, sounds and sights

Religion in Turkey

Walking around Istanbul I began to get the impressions that there was not a high degree of religiosity. There are some women in ha-jib, but a small percentage; otherwise it’s just head scarves if not just plain western dress.  Despite the dominance of the skyline in some areas by minarets and the very loud andcalls to … Read moreReligion in Turkey

Istanbul’s Pleasant Surprises

 Istanbul’s Pleasant Surprises October 1, 2015 Our two weeks in Turkey was filled with surprises. I wasn’t so surprised by the Hagia Sophia, built around 550 on same site as two previous churches- my rendition below (on postcard stock). But I was by how un-religious the people are. There are five calls to prayer per day- … Read moreIstanbul’s Pleasant Surprises

The Cuisine of Istanbul

September 2015 We ate out for every meal other than some breakfasts while in Istanbul.  We went to three high class restaurants, others that were very good even excellent but the cuisine was not so fancy and the surroundings often less so.   I also had kebabs from fast food places. I think I got a … Read moreThe Cuisine of Istanbul

Haggia Sophia, a World Heritage Site, noted for its architecture and mosaics

September 20 2015  Istanbul The Hagia (Holy) Sophia (Wisdom) is a stunning domed building built as a Greek Orthodox cathedral in 537 when Istanbul, then called Constantinople,  was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire(also known as the Byzantine Empire).  Between 1204 and 1261 it was a Roman Catholic cathedral.   Following the conquering of … Read moreHaggia Sophia, a World Heritage Site, noted for its architecture and mosaics

Along the Bosphorous

September 15, 2015 Our place is just 100 meters from the Bosphorus, the straight that separates Europe and Asia in Istanbul. It’s a steep street, as so many are as the city is built on many hills. Near the top of the street it gets even steeper,  reminding of the streets of S.F. There are cats … Read moreAlong the Bosphorous

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