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A Quick Overview of our favorite pictures.


Just outside the Topkapi palace in Istanbul, which was the living quarters of the sultans from the 1400 until the early 1800. Many of the tourist facilities are heavily guarded, because the Turks want to protect the tourism industry from potential terrorist attacks.  This guy was a lot friendlier than he looks. This is a Turkish style squat toilet in the palace, with facilities for hand washing.  Only the best marble for the Sultan, of course.


Eric gets a haircut.  Part of the procedure is to burn off hair on the face and the ears.  Pretty scary! This is the inside of the Aya Sofia in Istanbul, which was first a church, then a mosque, and now a museum.  Notice the huge Islamic placards hung up to make it less church-like.  The placards display the names, in Arabic, of God, Mohamed and the 4 caliphs.


The courtyard inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The shoe-shiners often had a very elaborate setup, with burnished brass jars of shoe polish.


This is at the famous covered market, or Grand Bazaar.  Most of the shops appear to cater to tourists, so of course there's dozens of places to buy a carpet. We took the ferry from Istanbul to Bursa.  On the ferry we met Zeki, a salesman for a clothing dye company.  He goes to Bursa every week to sell dye to the towel factories out there. Zeki is a very generous and charismatic man.  He'd been to America for about a year, and really loved it there.  He spent the whole day driving us around, showing us the area, and bought us lunch and dinner.


Zeki drove us up Uludag, a mountain that rises up behind Bursa.  Along the road was a farmer selling his products--quinces, apples, and walnuts. He presented us with a large bag filled with everything he sold, as a present.  It was the first time we'd tasted quinces--they're tasty, similar to apples, but very hard and a little more acidic. 20 guesses as to what this is for.  Can't guess?  Well, around the age of  8 or 9, boys are circumcised in Turkey.  There's a big ceremony and party, and the boy gets to wear this special suit. (Oh boy, that sure makes up for it!)


In the ruins of ancient Pergamum, these kilns were everywhere.  We wondered what they were, and later discovered that in the middle ages, people took marble from ruins, and burned it in these furnaces.  The resulting material (lime, I believe) was used to make the whitewash. This is the theater at Pergamum.  I was very impressed--it was our first theater. Normally they're wider and not as high, but this one was built up.


We didn't know what this was at the time we saw it.  After seeing many more ruined cities, it was obvious to us--it's a bath!  People walk down the steps into the bath. This was the gymnasium in the middle city of Pergamum.


The public toilets in Ephesus.  Very cozy and intimate. In coastal Kusadasi, the first hotel we stayed at had no hot water.  The next morning we changed hotels, and took a shower.  We also washed clothes, which we'd been doing in hotel sinks the whole time.  After this, we always tested hotel rooms for hot water before checking in!


Spices for sale.  Oddly enough, although we saw spices for sale everywhere, most Turkish food we had didn't seem very spicy at all. Sunrise from the hotel in Kusadasi. You can see one small and one huge cruise ship coming in, with Pigeon Island between them.


In the ancient city of Priene, this was the Council Chamber (something like City Hall). As you can see, it was in superb condition.  Notice Eric leaping to the speakers column. An ancient road in Priene, with a covered gutter running down the side.


Mt Mykale, with pieces of crumbled columns in the middle.  We started a game here--to get from place to place, you had to step on pieces of ruins.  We called the broken up fluted columns "gears".  They look a lot like gears, don't they? The theater at Miletus. Notice the upper and lower walkways, some partially collapsed.


In the small village of Kapikiri.  The mountain that towers over the village is Besparmak Mt., or Five Fingered Mountain.  Notice the solar water heater on the house.  They're very common here--I think most water heating in costal Turkey is solar. Donkeys were everywhere in this village.  Maybe this was the one that brayed loudly all throughout the night, and kept us up!


We took a hike up to the ruins of a Byzantine monastery near Kapikiri.  Fences along the path were always homemade affairs, made of brush, branches, and twisted wires.. There were unusual double-arch windows and doorways at the monastery.


This fresco, painted under a rock, would have been impossible to find had we not met an older German couple coming down when we were going up who gave us directions. The overhang of the rock was plastered, and the fresco was applied to the plaster. More great views of the lake area from the monastery area.
EricAndSylvia  |  Pictures  |  Turkey  |  Best Of   <<< 1 2  All >>> © 2013 Eric Vasilik