Turkey for Christmas!
Turkish Airlines flight from Toronto to Istanbul late on Saturday, December 21st….. the day the ice storm came to town. The flight was delayed by about 2 hours in part because of electrical problems at the check-in desk and in part because the plane needed to de-ice. But we made it. We started our descent into Istanbul as the sun started setting on Sunday the 22nd.
Above: View from the hotel window.
Istanbul is a fascinating city. There are lots of men – the shopkeepers are men, the waiters are men, in fact I have seen very few women working (in my very limited experience).
Istanbul is an interesting mix of Christian and Muslem, East and West, modern and traditional.
There are signs of Christmas here but it is very low key.
There is a lot more to Istanbul than what I have shown here but we are on the move….
The original plan was to keep these blog posts in chronological order, but something about “The best laid plans of mice and men” and me.
Wherever I travel, I walk a local cemetery. When I was in the city of Konya, in the central Anatolia part of Turkey, I came across a large cemetery.
There were quite a few people walking in this cemetery. I wasn’t sure of the protocol so I stayed on the paths.
Above: There were quite a few tombstones with the picture of what looks like a face with a long green nose and two red eyes. I’ve been trying to find out what it symbolizes. The best explanation I have heard so far is that the green is a cedar tree and the red are pomegranates. This may or may not be accurate! The minarets in the background are those of the Mevlana Mosque.
Above: The stone on the left marks the grave of Fatma Dikmen. ‘Ruhuna’ translates as spirit while ‘ruhuna fatiha’ translates as praying. The words at the top of the stone describe her as being filled with the light of paradise but I am having trouble getting an exact translation.
The village of Budak
We spent some time in the village of Budak. There were lots of opportunities to take pictures of doors and windows, two of my favorite things to capture. Here is a selection of images from a walk around the village.
Above: The most common construction method seems to be a concrete frame that is filled in with red brick. There are many of these partially built residences throughout the country. Two or three storey buildings seem to be the rural norm while four and five storeys are typically found in towns.
Above: Cats, cats and more cats. Everywhere you go there are cats. I am not sure if they are feral cats or if people let their pet cats run free. This was not the cutest cat I’ve seen nor is it the worst; a lot of the cats don’t look very healthy. This cat just happened to be one that didn’t run away.
Built in 1296 by the Seljuks, one of the first tribe of Turks to arrive in what is now Turkey, the Esrefoglu Mosque is in the town of Beysehir. The roof is supported by 42 cedar columns that have stood since the 13th century. Each column is about 40cm in diameter. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rum existed in central Anatolia from 1107 to 1307.
Above: Tile niches such as this take their shape from the design used by the Seljuks when building caravanserais. A caravanserai was like a roadside inn and a network of them was built to facilitate trade along what became known as the Silk Road.
He started life just as Mustafa in 1881. In 1923 he became the first president of the newly formed Turkish Republic. In 1935 when he introduced surnames to Turkey, he gave himself the surname Ataturk which means ‘father of the Turks’. He died in November 1937. He is buried on a hill overlooking the city of Ankara; his tomb is in a large mausoleum. Antikabir is the name of the site.
Running perpendicular to the plaza is a long ‘road’ (262 metres) known as the Road of Lions as it is lined by 24 stone lions.
At the end of the Road of Lions that is farthest from the Ceremonial Plaza are two statues.
I will continue my Turkey adventures on a second page: https://mcfcrandall.wordpress.com/turkey/part-two or use the ‘Turkey’ drop down menu at the top of the page.