Sunday, June 13, 2010

Turkey, Basilica Cistern And The Grand Bazaar



Canon 188 Soothing music, the sound of dripping water and orange lights greets me as I descend the stairs of The Basilica Cistern.




Canon 190 The temperature inside is about twenty degrees cooler than outside and a dampness fills the air.





Once used to provide water to various palaces nearby, The Basilica Cistern is the biggest cistern in Istanbul.

For YTL$20 you can also experience this ancient marvel built somewhere around 527 A.D.



Canon 192 A restoration project in 1984 discovered two marble blocks with the figure of Medusa. With one figure head upside down there is a mystery as to how these columns found there way here.



Canon 196

Basilica Cistern Used In James Bond Movie






Back outside and the warm afternoon sun presents an opportunity for me to continue my international beer drinking research.



Canon 207 Mer Haba (Hello, how are you) at a local convenience store and we score a few bottles of cold Efes beer.




The first few pulls are refreshingly good as we walk towards Grand Bazaar then a sidewalk break.


RJ Samsung 061 Chilin Sipping A Turkish Brew






Canon 209

Tony warns of skilled pick pockets as we enter the sometimes crowded bazaar.







Canon 215 Rows and rows and rows of merchandise and merchants that can trace their history here back to 1461.




As a bridge between two continents, Istanbul has always been a popular place for trade.



Canon 211 Finding our way to a shirt shop, Tony bargains for a couple of Turkish soccer jerseys. At TYL$20, we think we have gotten a good deal.




Canon 214 We lose that we got a good deal feeling when afternoon tea and desert at a tourist cage in the bazaar sets us back about YTL$30.




Canon 218 Back on Divanyolu we pass The Pillar Of Constantine that Moose believes with others contains the Jesus crucifixion cross. Today, it is easy to forget Turkey's role in history. At one time it controlled much of The Middle East so for the cross to be here is not that unbelievable.




Further along Divanyolu I am almost involved in an international incident when I discover my favorite chain Mexican restaurant, El Torito has a location in Istanbul.



Canon 232 How is it that they cannot have a location in South Florida?





Canon 213 Fortunately for El Torito, Moose will be taking us to one of his favorite Turkish restaurants and this allows me a degree of culinary forgiveness.



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