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Joe's World Backpacking Trip Stories and pics from my travels.

Istanbul, Turkey

TURKEY | Saturday, 10 January 2009 | Views [878] | Comments [1]

I'm glad I decided to go all the way up to Istanbul after going through the whole middle east.  Istanbul is where east meets west.  On top of traveling through a whole region and watching the appearance of the people, language, culture, and food slowly transform from on place to another; you have the added cultural dichotomy of Secular Western European, and Eastern Muslim.  All packed into one place.  If culture is your thing than Istanbul is the place to go.  So much history.  From the 1500 year old Aya Sofya Mosque/Church.  With it's Arabic calligraphy inscriptions of the names of Allah to the Byzantine crosses and images of Jesus painted over top of them by the Crusaders.  There is also Topkapu Palace.  Which is from the Constantinople Ottoman period.  It has it's own rich cultural history.  Of course the museaum on the Topkapu grounds displaying the sword of David, Moses' Staff, and the shawl of the Prophet Mohammed was the icing on the cake.  The Blue Mosque.  Called this because of the intricate blue tile work that lines the inside of the dome and glows blue inside when the light from the tile glass shines through.  The Cistern next to Aya Sofya was built in 538 AD by Constantine.  It still works.  You go down the stairs into the Roman Columns.  The place is only dimly lit, and they play traditional Anatolian music as you walk around.  Taking a ferry down the Bosphorous and passing through the Anatolian side and European side and seeing Sultanhamet, Aya Sofya and Topkapu palace while on the water was a beautiful way to see the city.  Istanbul is one of the places I will definately go back to.  The culture, and friendliness of the people there was overwhelming.  Sorry about the pictures, my camera stopped working when I got to Istanbul so all the pics are from people I was sightseeing with.  I'm in Dubai now, hopefully I can find an affordable camera here.  The electronics here are supposed to be cheap so I think Ill upgrade and get a better camera.  Since Im going to Africa I need something that will do the place justice. 

Tags: aya sofya, blue mosque, istanbul, roman cistern, topkapu palace, turkey




Got cought up on your blogs, as usual, very nice and interesting. Watched your movies as well. I noticed one guy walking, not praying. I think you should get his name and report him to the ministry.

Joey, just want to tell you that you will probably get little support for the donation thing. It is not because people have forgotten about you, or that they have stop visiting this site. Things are just really bad in the US. There is not a single company that I know of that hasn't had to lay off a number of people because of the terrible economy. That is all people talk about here now. When you go out the common conversation is to point out which store, restaurant, company has a "going out of business" sign or they are simply closed down. My company told me that I had to let two people go, but I got an extension on that. My dad was let go from ASU and Uncle David only works three days a week now. Really sad and scary. Has the economy been affected much in your part of the world? Do they talk about the US economy much when you speak with others? Just curious.

Keep writing, I find it very interesting. How are the middle eastern women; are they exotic? Oh, sorry, forgot who I was writing to - How are the young school boys; are they exotic?

Love, UB

  Uncle B Jan 12, 2009 3:10 AM

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