Wednesday, May 12, 2010

will I ever get caught up?

there are a lot more stories and photos which i want to include in this travel journal, and there is no chance at this point of it being in any kind of coherent order, so i'll just be happy to get the bits and pieces and their photos posted here. I do wish we'd been able to be in Istanbul earlier in the trip, then go to Kusadasi to recover! there is just SO much to see and do.... and it's all an uphill walk to do it. for someone (me) who doesn't ordinarily do a lot of walking and gets kind of breathless going up steep hills, and who has such short stumpy legs that it's hard to keep up with those who have long legs and walk fast.... this was a challenge. but, my companions were very sweet to slow down and even wait sometimes.

this is the owner of the Peninsula Hotel, holding his kitten. He prepares and serves the breakfast at the rooftop restaurant... and does a fine job. when up there and looking around, you see a dining area on the roof of almost every building. good use of space, plus the view is spectacular!
it's a nice hotel, small, clean and recommended by Lonely Planet. the location is excellent. no elevator... which is inconvenient if you have to carry a lot of luggage up 3 flights!

building across the street covered with wisteria
another rooftop dining area
this sign struck me as funny. the cafe it was attached to was a hang-out for hippy-type young people and featured lots of hookka(s). the crowds could be heard til late into the night!

we spent part of a day just walkin' and gawkin' around the neighborhood (which was really convenient to our hotel... as were the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, and trams for going to the big spice bazaar). one of the places we wandered into was a huge store filled with handpainted ceramics which i would not have believed were handpainted until we actually saw the artist doing the painting!
"The Church of the Holy Wisdom, known as Hagia Sophia (Άγια Σοφία) in Greek, Sancta Sophia in Latin, and Ayasofya or Aya Sofya in Turkish, is a former Byzantine church and former Ottoman mosque in Istanbul. Now a museum, Hagia Sophia is universally acknowledged as one of the great buildings of the world."

my puny little digital camera cannot do justice to the magnificence of this mosque. and it's so immense that i felt like a tiny speck when i stood there and looked around!
one thing i wanted to do in Istanbul was listen to live Turkish music... so when we found a place which had the music plus performance of a whirling dervish ...that was the place to go! it was very interesting to watch the whirling dervish do his dancing, but i kept having the sense that it just wasn't "right". this whirling is a part of a religious ceremony. in this setting, he was doing just a part of the ceremony (and likely being paid to do it) while the audience was sitting there eating and chatting. but it was interesting to watch.....


goatldi said...

home again, gigity gig? Or where? cute kitten, lovely photos.

Sandy said...

yep - got home a week ago and have spent most of the time since trying to rid my body of an alien flu/cold bug. thinking i've almost got it done!