Friday, 30 October 2015

Sarah Sitting

You never know what a place is going to offer in environments to photograph. Animal trashcans in India, who knew? Sometimes you need to take it sitting down. In Istanbul, Sarah does just that.

"Who's got three?" Why all the random places to sit outside? We were there during chilly Thanksgiving and no one was doing any exterior lounging. Come warmer weather, maybe everyone is on the hot seats in the streets.

Two chairs, flanking an entrance.  Being the building sentries? "You want a table with that?"

So sweet, Sarah with a storefront sheep!

Tough Turkey town, graffiti and random stuff. Small doorway, small stool.

Sliding off to the next adventure....

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Great Palace Mosaic Museum

Oh, the wonderful things that can be done with tiny tiles. In Istanbul, there's a museum dedicated to mosaics, mostly ones found on the site of the Great Palace of Constantinople.

The small museum.

There are some classic, feel-good scenes. A camel walk and a little puppy love.

Then the carnage gets going. Time to instill animal mayhem.

A little elephant-lion MMA.

And then mosaic blood starts flowing. Lots of blood, multiple species blood. Dragon v. lizard, tag teaming leopards. Don't mind me, I'm just here to pluck a few dates.

Spurting neck wound. Maybe best to visit the museum on a well-digested stomach.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Pope Francis Visits Istanbul

When we booked our little trip to Istanbul, we weren't expecting to see the Pope. Is he even on Tinder? (He does Tweet.) Then we glanced at a notice in our hotel lobby. The Pope is coming!

What are the chances we'd actually get to see him? Figuring the crowds would be smaller in a Muslim country, we headed to the vehicle route.

We were right about the crowds, a whopping two, three deep.  Feeling lucky!


Here they come. The Pope is in the hulking black Chevy Suburban, right? Nope, he's a modest sedan man. That's him in the rear, right window. Seriously.

After visiting the Blue Mosque, the Pope headed to Hagia Sophia, our chance to get a better glimpse of him. James says, "There he is!" Sarah yells, "I don't see him!" James repeats louder, points. Sarah still doesn't see him. James yells, "He's the only one wearing white!!!" Oh.

We did see him. A 1,000% crop factor helps verify the moment.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Suleymaniye Mosque

Hagia Sophia has the history, The Blue Mosque has the location, but Suleymaniye Mosque can lay claim to being the biggest place of worship in Istanbul. The structure sits atop Istanbul's third hill and can be seen from all parts of the city. Started in 1550, finished in 1558. Yep, eight years to build this giant mosque.

Impressive approach.

The view from the side, looking over the the Golden Horn inlet and the Bosphorus. The entrance courtyard.

Impressive interior. Expect anything less?

Dome gazing and quiet prayer.

Waiting outside.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Selling, Eating And Waiting In Istanbul

There's nothing like seeing the daily beat of a city to get a good sense of how the place ticks. Istanbul offers many glimpses of the populace in its usual rhythms.

Cheese vendor.

Dry goods for sale and a waiting shopkeeper.

Two shopkeepers, passing the time.

Lunch for office workers and ladies lunching.

Another shop, another set of vendors passing the time.

Big items in Istanbul, shoe shine kits and rope.

The edge of an outdoor cafe next to a shop.

Friday, 23 October 2015

End Of The Orient Express At Istanbul's Sirkeci Terminal

The famed Orient Express train line ended in Istanbul at the city's Sirkeci terminal. The station was built in 1890 as a way to connect Turkey with Europe. The station was built in the style of Orientalsim, a mash-up of European Art Nouveau and Turkish Ottoman architectural movements.

A restaurant, out back by the tracks.

The facade and one of the waiting rooms.

Another waiting room. No trains running since 2013, nobody waiting.

There's a train museum, full of related paraphernalia. A sign of signs.

Swinging 1970s seat train car mockup. Enjoy the fantasy.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

A Visit To Rustem Pasa Camii Mosque In Istanbul

Most mosques in Istanbul are monumental and it's easy to be impressed, just based on the size of the structures. Sometimes, nice mosques come in small packages. Wedged into the neighborhood surrounding Istanbul's Spice Bazaar, little Rustem Pasa Camii is a gem worth seeking out.

No big plaza as a teaser, the Rustem mosque sits among the small alleys and shops.

Heavily tiled exterior courtyard. And a pair of shoes. The ceiling.

The lovely interior. Maybe the lone pair of shoes belong to this gentleman?

A closer look at the rich interior details.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Istanbul's Splendid Spice Bazaar

One of the more authentic experiences in Istanbul is a visit to the Spice Bazaar. The place is still packed with pungent offerings, busy alleys and plenty of shoppers. Lots of exotic color for the eyes and smells for the nose.

Need spices? Piled and ready to move.

Anything, any color.
Spices, nuts, candy and every combination, sweet and savory.

For the sweet, plenty of honey and the dessert called, "Turkish Delight."

Vendors, standing and waiting.