S: Turkey and Greece, July 2011
1: Merhaba (hello). You know you are not in Kansas anymore when you here the calls to prayer, five times a day, echoing over the Golden Horn of Istanbul. Hagia Sophia is the background.
2: The Blue Mosque. We visited twice, once in the day when other tourists swarmed, and again at night between rain showers.
3: Hagia Sophia. You could fit Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral under Hagia Sophia's dome ---or the Statue of Liberty. Built in the 6th century as a Christian Church, converted to a mosque in 1453 when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople.
6: All of the Christian mosaics were plastered over during the Muslim conversion of Hagia Sophia. Many have now been restored. The small off-center niche, called the mihrab, shows the precise direction to face Mecca, rather than Jerusalem, during prayers.
9: The Sultan's private apartments in the Harem, part of theTopkapi Palace. The Mother Sultan controlled who the Sultan married. | The harem was a carefully administered social institution that ensured the longevity of the Ottoman Empire.
10: The Harem courtyard.
13: The Grand Bazaar, world's oldest shopping mall. A good place to get lost. We didn't buy a thing!
15: Chora Church..packed full of some of the most impressive Byzantine mosaics anywhere. Built 1100.
16: We walked from Chora Church to the Walls of Constantinople, down to the Golden Horn. These massive walls were built in A.D. 400's. Jerry arranged for a boat "taxi" back to Galata Bridge.
19: Cappadocia, the land of fairy chimneys, the original "green" housing. People have been living in the caves for thousands of years. The "apartments" on the left were occupied until the 1950's.
21: A horseback tour on Arabian horses... the area is famous for them. And, or course, our hotel was built into a cave.
23: Debbie loved the mulberry tree fruit!
26: Ephesus, the best-preserved classical city. It existed 1,000 years before Paul arrived.
28: A hot day to tour Ephesus, but we waited out the crowds and had the library to ourselves.
30: Library of Celsus. Built in the first century. It held 12,000 scrolls in niches around its walls, making it the third-largest library in the ancient world after Alexandria and Pergamum.
31: From Ephesus we took a bus to Cesme, (Jerry's famous conversation in three languages!), next a ferry to the Greek Island of Chois, then a night ferry to Athens. | Sunrise, from our room, as we are just coming into Athens' port
33: Hydra, Greece. Still Debbie's favorite place to visit in the world.
36: The Acropolis. Jerry spent a long time in the dirt taking too numerous to count photos of the Parthenon. It was whirlwind trip through Athens. It was hot and the beer at the end of the day was GREAT!