Thursday, January 3, 2013

Turkish Details

Coming home from Turkey was really hard for me ( I know, cue the world's tiniest violin). Probably the worst denouement I've ever had post-travel other than when I moved back from London. I was coming home to a dead car-when my job requires driving about 50 miles a day-and the immense stress that has caused, bills to pay, an apartment that featured the smell of cat pee-one of them decided to suddenly use our towels instead of the litter box, and all those other "real life" things that make you go on vacation in the first place. It was especially tough because I really fell in love with the country, the history, the beauty, and the details. To help me relive the adventure, here are some of my favorite slices of what we saw.

Door to the Blue Mosque entrance.

Detail of the famous Iznik tiles in the Blue Mosque. Incidentally, did you know Iznik is where the Nicene creed was agreed upon? Crazy amounts of history.

Windows outside the Hagia Sofia complex.

Hagia Sofia. Look at the way they lined up the tiles of marble.

Mosaic circa 500 that still features the original gold, silver, ruby, and emerald tiles.

Can you spot the hidden kitty? Appropriate, given just how many cats live there...

Fountain outside the Topkapi Palace, where the Ottoman sultans used to live.

Loved how every column had a different marble design.

The Dardanelles and view of Gallipoli.

Water and sewer pipes more than 2000 years old at Ephesus. Too bad the lead they used made people crazy.

Super sweet kitty at the amphitheater.

Remnants of a church built for St. John the apostle, who spread the word in Turkey (and rumor has it brought the Virgin Mary there too).

Taking a dip in the hot springs of Pammukale.

Thermal pools of Pamukkale.

Lion details on a sarcophagus in Heiropolis's necropolis.

Blue tiled minaret at Mevlana's (poet Rumi's) mausoleum.

The entrance walls to a caravansarai built in 1229, where travelers and traders on the silk road took refuge at night.

Makin' carpets.

Ready for take off, Cappadocia.

The view from 5000 feet up.

Evil eye tree, Cappadocia.

Ladder carved into the volcanic ash cave dwellings dating back to 2000 B.C.

Fairy chimneys, Cappadocia.

Mosaic meant to mimic turkish carpet patterns at the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, Ankara.

Man's first writing-cuneiform-letters and envelopes in Ankara.

Boat ride on the Bosphorus river.

Property on the Bosphorus is as pricey as anything in Manhattan or Malibu (and sometimes more).

Turkish tea. Can you see the steam?

Spices, including rare saffron and the most delicious red pepper flake mix, at the Spice Market.

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