I Found a Turkey in Turkey
No, seriously. I did.
We in the West call them turkeys because Westerners first discovered them (or something resembling them) within the country called Turkey. Ironically, Turks call them “hindi” because they encountered the birds in India.
Today we have a fascinating time in historic Istanbul. First was a quick tour through the Blue Mosque, followed by a more thorough investigation of one of my dream destinations, the Hagia Sofia, an important place of worship built 1500-1600 years ago. You can read about the details on your own, but I’ve posted a couple of very brief Youtube clips from my visit today:
One of my favourite parts of the structure is the tomb of the Venetian Doge Henricus Dandolo, though his bones were likely scattered a long time ago. Dandolo was the wizened figure who engineered the sack of this great city as part of the fourth Crusade.
Then we experienced the Basilica Cistern, an underground repository of water transported from the Balkans and built by Emperor Justinian. It’s a magical and calm place that demands introspection. Dig the ambiance:
Then it was off to explore the Grand Bazaar, which was both beautiful and pleasant. Asian bazaars have a well earned reputation for being a tad dangerous (pick-pockets) and supremely annoying, with touts vying for tourists’ attention. But I have found Turkey to be eminently devoid of such unpleasant elements, and the Grand Bazaar was no exception. If anything, it’s the humour of the shopkeepers that is ubiquitous. One fellow kept calling to us in a fake Southern American accent. Another’s call was, “Hola, Pepsi Cola” which, of course, means nothing, as he well knew.
Here’s a pic of me enjoying traditional coffee inside the bazaar: