Boat Tour of the Bosporus, a Fish Dinner, and the end of these Istanbul Posts

Our week in Istanbul ended with a boat tour of the Bosporus. The second photo is of a smaller mosque on shore, smaller because lacking the many minarets of the larger mosques. The third photo is of a suspension bridge across the Bosporus and the fourth of some lovely people on board from the RepublicContinue reading “Boat Tour of the Bosporus, a Fish Dinner, and the end of these Istanbul Posts”

The Spice Market in Istanbul

This is a not-to-miss site. Constructed in and around 1660, it is also named the Egyptian eyalet, “eyalet” referring to a province or district within the Ottoman Empire that was a source of building funds. The Misir Carsisi, or Spice Bazaar, is a huge covered shopping complex of some 85 stores featuring spices to beContinue reading “The Spice Market in Istanbul”

Christmas in Istanbul, 2012: Turkish Carpets

Turkish carpets have been famous for their quality for centuries. So it was a pleasure to have our tour bus stop to examine some, especially since a few on our tour looked interested in buying one and having it waiting for them at their door when they arrived home. Needless to say, we were notContinue reading “Christmas in Istanbul, 2012: Turkish Carpets”

More photos from inside Hagia Sophia: The Church of the Holy Word (now a Museum), Istanbul, Christmas 2012

The first photo is of a ceiling mosaic depicting in the center the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child: on the left side as you look at it is a model of Constantine with his new city of Constantinople and on the right Constantine with a model of his new Church. The above photo andContinue reading “More photos from inside Hagia Sophia: The Church of the Holy Word (now a Museum), Istanbul, Christmas 2012”

The Hagia Sophia: Christmas in Istanbul, 2012

The Hagia Sophia (Church of the Holy Wisdom of God, or the Logos, or the Second Person of the Holy Trinity) stands close to the Blue Mosque and together the two represent the two great religions of Istanbul: Christianity and Islam. The Hagia Sophia dates from the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (360 AD),Continue reading “The Hagia Sophia: Christmas in Istanbul, 2012”

Istanbul Christmas, 2012: Inside the Blue Mosque

People wishing to enter this or most other mosques must take off their shoes and, if they are women, wear a hat and scarf. It was winter in Istanbul when we were there, and since no place was provided to put your shoes, you simply put them down any place you could find inside theContinue reading “Istanbul Christmas, 2012: Inside the Blue Mosque”

A Brief History of Istanbul

Originally named Byzantium (meaning “the city on the Bosphorus”) what is now named Istanbul was peacefully ruled by Alexander the Great from the 6th to the 4th centuries B.C. A Roman city from the 2nd to the 4th centuries B.C.E, Byzantium was then named Constantinople by (guess who?) the emperor Constantine, who made it theContinue reading “A Brief History of Istanbul”

An Istanbul Christmas and the Call to Prayer

The Call to Prayer rang out frequently during our stay. We would hear it first from our hotel room at 6:00 a.m, but by our third day we took it so for granted as to find the sound barely noticeable even though there was a mosque close enough to our hotel that we felt weContinue reading “An Istanbul Christmas and the Call to Prayer”

Christmas in Istanbul, 2012: Geography

The historical importance of the geography of Istanbul cannot be overestimated. The city spans two continents, Europe and Asia, and the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean, has always made Istanbul strategically important from both a military and economic point of view. Oil tankers may be seen making their way alongContinue reading “Christmas in Istanbul, 2012: Geography”

Egypt Since the Uprising: 2011-2019

Mary and I had been home two weeks before we began seeing television accounts of the Egyptian Uprising that began on January 25, 2011. In hindsight the fact of political and social unrest in Egypt should not have come as a great surprise to us. When I asked our tour guide why we had toContinue reading “Egypt Since the Uprising: 2011-2019”