Monday, December 12, 2011

Turkey- Unique blend of Europe & Asia トルコ:ヨーロッパとアジアのユニークな共存

Second day of Turkey- I woke up 8:10 as breakfast ended at 8:30, and it was so hard to get up. It literally felt like I had slept like a rock. We had a nice relaxing breakfast, and then got ready to leave at 10. We decided to not waste time and head straight to Ayasofia, as bekah and I really wanted to see the inside after hearing Barbara and Jay’s reactions.


We went inside and I was blown away by how huge it was, and also how old yet beautiful it was. If one looked closer one could see the Christian Byzantine decorations hiding under the Islamic pattern plaster. It had a strange mix of both religions. 


We also saw the famous mosaics of Jesus which only showed his upper body, but the mosaic tiles were so intricately laid out it was difficult to comprehend it was done in the 400s and still we could still see it and be moved by it.


It was also ironic to hear the theories that these tiles had been better preserved because of the plaster cover. It must have been such an exciting discovery for whoever found that the mosque had once been a church- the uncovering must really been like opening a treasure box. I liked that they had made it into a museum now, where both faiths, religions and decorations associated can coexist and be appreciated as is- also representative of my impression of today’s Turkey.


We got back to meet the others, Barbara joined by Yumi, and we headed for lunch where we sat outdoors on small stools and enjoyed some crepes and freshly squeezed orange juice.


I also had the chance to talk to a local person. I explained about Peace Boat and he was very fond of Japanese tourists. When he heard that I was half-Swedish and half-Japanese, he said something interesting. He said I am just like Turkey- a blend of Europe and Asia, one of a kind.


He kindly gave me a magnet of the Turkish and Greece Evil Eye. It is said to be protective, and he told me to have it with me on the long voyage ahead. Since then, it's always been in my backpack at ports.


We took a nice walk outside the Topikapi palace (due to lack of time, we couldn't visit..) ...

トピカピ宮殿の外をゆっくり散歩したり (時間がなくて、宮殿は諦めたけど)…

Took a coffee break..... (yay for Turkish coffee!)


had a quick dinner by the port.... (fish sandwich, YUM!)


enjoyed the sunset on our way back.... :-)


Thank you Turkey, you were wonderful and I hope to be back soon.


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