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Turkish Delight

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Walking the streets in Bucharest, Romania can quickly become a game of Frogger gone bad. There are way too many cars and way too many people for this big city.

I just took a 22 hour metal grinding, shrieking, sewage smelling, 10 stop visa, passport ticket all night long festival of train madness from Bucharest to Istanbul.

Ah, istanbul! what a beautiful city. The once proud city of Constantinople is lapped by the waters of the Marmara to the South, the Golden Horn to the North and the Bosphorus to the East. The old three layered Theodosian Walls sit decrepitly in the west, a reminder of the past glory.

I met Alex, a bloke from Munich, Germany in Brasov Romania and we travelled here together with Daniel from Australia and David from Atlanta. Today we went to the Haghia Sophia (where they still had the scaffolding blocking the central dome of the church), the Blue Mosque, Constantine`s Hippodrome and the underground cisterns.

Haghia Sophia (the church of Holy Wisdom built by Justinian in the 530s) was amazing as i expected it to be and it was even more fun to explain some of the history to David and Alex. They were really interested in the icons and mosaics.

Later on today, Alex, Eric (another bloke I met from LA working in London) had a dinner of kebabs outside the Haghia Sophia to the sounds of the call to prayer.

The political atmosphere is tense. With supporters of the modern secular state and a presidential nominee who is in favor of more fundamental sharia law, Turkey is facing possible political crisis. I took pictures of reporters and cops carrying full riot gear. Nothing to be too alarmed about though.

Alex, Eric and I are going to check out the North side of the Golden Horn tomorrow, from the Galata tower to the Castle (throat cutter) Sultan Mehmet II built in 1450s. The Galata tower is all that is left of the Genoese trading colony that lived here in Constantinople hundreds of years ago. The Genoese (who were Latin speaking) were told to move across the Golden Horn because they were considered crass by the more sophisticated Byzantine Greeks.

On Sunday night, I am taking a night bus along the Asian side of Turkey down to the ancient Roman city of Ephesus...

Posted by iaremia 08:44

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Alex and Eric? What about Walter and Terri?

by larewizard

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