S: TURKEY: December 18-31, 2010 Vol. II
BC: Blue Mosque
1: Itinerary Saturday, December 18: Left Detroit Airport on overnight flight to Paris, Charles De Gaulle Sunday, December 19: Arrive to Istanbul after connecting from Paris Monday, December 20: Anzac Cemetery; Lone Pine; Ferry ride; Gallipoli Tuesday, December 21: Troy; Izmir; Kusadasi Wednesday, December 22: Virgin Mary's House; Ephesus; Temple of Artemis; Thursday, December 23: Aphrodisias; Hieropolis; Pamukkale; Friday, December 24: Konya; Whirling Dervish Museum Saturday, December 25: Goreme; Turkish Carpets; Folk Dancing Sunday, December 26: Cappadocia Region: Fairy Chimneys; Valley of Imaginations; Underground City of Oskonak; Monday, December 27: Ankara; Mauseleum of Ataturk; Civilization Museum Tuesday, December 28: King Midas' Tomb; Bursa; Mosque tour Wednesday, December 29: Istanbul; Hippodrome; Blue Mosque; Cruise of the Bosphorus Thursday, December 30: Tokapi Palace; Hagia Sophia; Grand Bazaar Friday, December 31: Flight home
2: UNDERGROUND CITY OF: OSHKONK? | Note to Self: Underground cities can get stinky- better build something else....
5: Valley of Imagination | What do you see?
6: These are natural erosions of the volcanic rock. Many people can see different images in the formations.
10: Fairy Chimneys
11: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Psalm 90: 2
13: front door of a Turks' house in the country: Very Photogenic!
14: More cave dwellings. These were occupied until the 1950's when the Turkish Government forced the people out. However, you can see at the top right picture, one family is still living in a cave
16: More Fairy Chimneys at a National Park dedicated to these natural erosions.
19: The story of the | Whirling Dervishes Dervishes wear tall, conical felt hats, white robes with full skirts and voluminous black cloaks above it. The hats symbolize the tombstones of their egos, white robes signify the shrouds of their egos and the black cloaks represent their worldly tombs. At the beginning of the ceremony, the black cloak is discarded to signify their liberation from the attachments of this world. The whirling ritual of the Dervishes or the Sema, as it is called, begins with a chanted prayer. Then a kettledrum sounds (symbol of divine order) followed by a musical improvisation on the "ney" or reed flute (symbol of divine breath). After this, the master bows, leads the Dervishes in a circle and then on reaching the head of the hall they bow to each other (signify salutation of soul to soul). On completion of three circles, the Dervishes drop their black clothes, approach the master serially with their arms folded on their breast and then after bowing, kissing his hand and receiving instruction, they spin out on the floor. The whirling of the Dervishes implies their renunciation of the worldly life to be reborn in union with God. During the movement they keep their right hand palm-up to receive the blessings and the left hand palm-down to transfer it to the earth. After whirling for sometime, the Dervishes kneel, pray and then start again. This combination of whirling and salutation is repeated four times. At the end of this, the Hafiz reads the Koran. The sema concludes with a unanimous prayer for the peace of the soul.
20: Typical home of the earliest Turkish civilization | Remains of a mother and child found in Eastern Turkey buried inside their home | Mother Goddess of early 'Turks' | Toy chariot of early Turkish civilization
22: Mausoleum of Atatürk
23: Atatürk was a great leader And a great leader was he. He had blue eyes that would stare back at you, And he led this big country. And he said, "People come follow me" And the people worshiped him. And the people still worship him. | sing to tune of "Zaccheus Was A Wee Little Man"
24: More of Ataturk's resting place | Ceilings decorated like Turkish Carpets Hall leading to his tomb ----
28: For the love of Turkey! It's ATATURK! | and our bus!
29: King Midas' Tomb Supposedly this was the tomb of the famous King Midas, who with his touch, turned everything to gold. This was bologna! It was actually King Gordias. This also is the "site" where Alexander cut the Perverbial Knot. The only dedication was a mosaic falling apart. There was nothing to see here except a long, long hallway and some cedar trees that outlined the tomb.
30: Once upon a time, in a far away land called Turkey, four Americans were traveling. These four poor souls had to go many days without clean clothes to wear. They were also tired of eating food that was prepared cold and filled with cabbage. However, some of them really enjoyed the rice and pomegranates. One day along their journey, they stopped to eat at a local shopping mall. Tired of the typical cuisine, the four wearily walked to the cafeteria. Wait! What could it be? Did their eyes deceive them? No, they did not! There, in bright letters glowing like a beacon was the sign saying, "BURGER KING." Yes, Burger King! They all quickly agreed to eat some 'typical' American food. Behold! Who was standing in line behind them? It was most of the travelers on their tour group. Everyone was so excited for a juicy hamburger...but chicken sandwiches was purchased instead because no one could trust what part of the cow was used in a Turkish Burger King hamburgers. It was a delightful lunch and rest of the trip.
32: Welcome to Konya: | Mosque in Konya | Where the men wash their feet
33: Where the Iman speaks
35: attack of the seagulls! | While boarding our ferry to Istanbul, the seagulls went a little crazy when another passenger started to feed them bread: BIG MISTAKE!
36: The original obelisk from 390 B.C. | Lunch in Istanbul
37: The Blue Mosque | Once the largest Mosque in the Islam faith with seven minarets
38: Inside the Blue Mosque...
39: Most of the walls were hand painted
40: The top left picture is of ostrich eggs that hang from the ceiling. These original eggs were hung and are still hung today to repel spiders. That way there are no spider webs hanging from the ceiling.
42: walls left from the Byzantine Time
43: Cruisin' on the Bosphorus | The Maiden's Tower Used in the James Bond Movie "The World Is Not Enough" | Bridge that separates Europe and Asia
45: Tokapi Palace. Home of the Sultans. Bottom right of the left page is the Sultan's room. The top left of this page is a fountain that the Sultan would turn on if he wanted to have a private conversation with someone in his room and didn't want it to be overheard. The top right pictures are decorated over the door to the Sultan's room. Bottom pictures are of the Sultan's room . There is a lot more on the property but I could not take pictures because they held the Royal Treasures. | Tokapi Palace
47: The Haggia Sofia
49: Once a beautiful church built by Constantine, turned into a Mosque, and now a museum.
50: In the Islamic faith, portraits are not allowed. So when the Muslims overtook the Haggia Sofia, they covered up all the beautiful mosaics of Christ and other spiritual beings. Upon restoration of the Haggia Sofia, excavators found these mosaics belonging to the early Christians in Istanbul, or Constantinople. Carefully, they have revealed them, trying to keep these ancient portraits intact. Now, you can see these mosaics next to the very simple Islamic decorations which are the large disks with an Islamic saying, mostly to Allah. It is an amazing place with a large ramp of stone that leads up to the second level. I did not get a picture of the ramp, but it was like stepping back even further into time.
52: These are just a few of the beautiful mosaics | The top shows the Christ child with two kings. The picture to the right is Christ with two disciples
53: The top left picture is Christ sitting with Constantine and one of the other early Christian rulers in Constantinople. The top right is of Mary and the infant Christ. In Istanbul today, like many years ago, there are still quarters of the city divided for those of different religious beliefs, especially the Jews. It was amazing to see such a Muslim city with such a rich Christian history and a respect for the Christian belief today.
54: Shoes... a girl's best friend. I should have bought a pair!
55: The Bazaar est. 1431
56: It was such a wonderful and an unforgettable trip. The best way to end this trip was with these glorious pictures from the flight home. God surely watched over us and these were like little reminders of how big He is. The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. Genesis 31:49
58: Our Crazy Turkish Trip!
59: Photo Recap and Extras