Tag Archives: Turkey

Rose Cherry Juice

As we were leaving a mosque one morning in Istanbul, I saw a man dressed in red at the end of the walkway.  He was dressed in a traditional Turkish outfit and was carrying a beautiful copper  vessel on his back.  The man was selling rose cherry juice, a popular drink in Turkey.

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He was pleased so show us how he poured the juice by tipping over and allowing the  juice to flow through his spout.  You have to look carefully to see the stream of juice flowing just over his left arm.

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More Istanbul

Settling back into my native country takes time.  I have visited two daughters at two universities, (one of which was in another state), re-stocked my pantry, upgraded my kitchen (fancy new blender and a new mixer- woot!), bought and read two new cookbooks, resumed my gym regimen, and have managed to squeeze in a little time with family and friends.  It’s exciting to be home for fall, having missed two years of pumpkin mania and college football.  And Halloween! Yeah, it’s good to be home.

But wait, there are MORE pictures of Istanbul for your viewing pleasure!  It has taken me awhile to download them, in part because many were sitting in my French iPhone, which I managed to leave in a store on my last day in Istanbul and  didn’t get back until last night.   (And if you were one of the masses of unluckies who were contacted by the thoughtful Turkish shop owner or the frantic husband concerning my whereabouts in that city, I am just so, so sorry).  But that’s another story for another time.  Lets look at pictures!

If you saw the new Dan Brown movie, Inferno, you will recognize this beautiful Roman cistern, built in the 6th century to provide water to the Grand Palace of Constantinople.  It holds 80,000 cubic meters of water and is supported by 336 marble columns.  It was eerie and wonderful.

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I was, of course, interested in the food and drink for sale on the street and in the little shops.

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look at these gorgeous teas

look at these gorgeous teas

peppercorns

peppercorns

and yes, Narnia lovers, Turkish Delight

and yes, Narnia lovers, Turkish Delight

pomegranate juice!

pomegranate juice!

gotta love a place where the nuts on the street are edible

gotta love a city where the nuts on the street are edible

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entrance to the Grand Bazaar, which was labyrinthine and amazing and full of good stuff

entrance to the Grand Bazaar, which was labyrinthine and amazing and full of good stuff

restaurant

restaurant

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entrance to a mosque

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prayer rugs?

prayer rugs?

Happy Halloween, my pretties!

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Let’s Talk Turkey

I have been back in Texas for almost a week, and my dear father in law gently reminded me that I have left my faithful readers on the edge of their seats, waiting to hear about Istanbul. I do apologize!

The flight from Paris to Istanbul was a mere 3 hours and 15 minutes, most of which I slept, having left my apartment early that morning to catch the shuttle to Orly airport.  After landing in Istanbul, we were met by a driver who whisked us off to our hotel and our smiling tour guide, Cassandra, from Ottoman Passport.  Cassandra is a long-time friend and is just as crazy about Turkey as I am about France.  She spent a year before college living with a Turkish family (with whom she still keeps in touch) and Istanbul has held a very special place in her heart ever since.  She  shares her passion for Istanbul with those who would like a private tour guide in that amazing city.  There were eight Houstonians in my group, the maximum size she leads, and we all were charmed by the exoticism of Istanbul, which felt a world away from Paris.

I did not take notes during my stay, and I do not have the benefit of a guide-book to refresh my ever waning memory, so many of the photos will be unidentified.  Just enjoy them and don’t worry yourself about the details!

Istanbul is full of mosques, most (all?) of which  had these elegant  spires, called “minarets”.  As we rode from the airport to the hotel, we were awed by the number of minarets in the city sky line.  Our visits to the mosques will be a lasting memory.  Everyone had to remove their shoes before entering, and women had to cover their heads.  Yes, women are allowed in the mosques, but are relegated to a small area behind the men and behind a screen of some kind.  What’s up with that, anyway?

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This mosque was no longer active, so heads did not have to be covered.

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Many mosques were formerly churches and still contained the Christian mosaics and frescos.

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While I loved seeing the mosques, my favorite church turned mosque turned museum was the Church of the Holy Saviour In Chora, a Byzantine church built around 1080.  Between 1315 and 1321 the interior was decorated with fabulous mosaics and frescos, which were covered in plaster in the 16th century when the church was converted to a mosque.  Later, the plaster was removed, and the building was turned into a museum in 1948.  The surviving mosaics and frescos are stunning, despite damage from the plaster, earthquakes, and age.

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I don’t want to overwhelm you with Istanbul all in one swoop, so stay tuned for future installments, same Bat channel, same Bat time.

Over and out.

P.S. – Cassandra of Ottoman Passport is a homie but she did not compensate me for promoting her on this here blog o’mine.  Of course, if she wanted to bring me back a fabulous carpet,  we could probably work something out.  Not really.

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Istanbul

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Bonjour from Turkey! I am enjoying a week in Istanbul with some Houston friends and a wonderful tour guide from Ottoman Passport. I don’t have my computer with me but I wanted to share a photo or two from this amazing city.

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I return to Houston on Tuesday and will gradually get caught up on my blog. See you then!

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