Saqra goes to:




 I was once again planning to wait to put this page up until I got all my resources together and had time to write a proper travelogue, but that takes TIME!

I have hours and hours of belly dancing and folk dancing on video from this trip along with a trip to a corner taverna to hear music PLUS tons of sightseeing footage, but the fastest material for me to put up is some conventional photos, so I'm going to start there!  

These are by no means representative of the vid/photo images I brought back, but I hope you enjoy this start... more later when I get some video transferred...

Istanbul. A view across the Bosphorous looking towards the Blue Mosque.

Another view of Istanbul. Not surprising that such an ancient city is so built up.

Did I say ancient? This is a Roman Aqueduct stretching over a main street.

Hey, Tarkan lovers... the young guys in Turkey are really that gorgeous.

We were heading to Taksim. "Taksim" implies solo action/opinions and the Taksim Square area is a common area for political demonstration.

Bread vendor in Taksim area. Note that some walking women are wearing headcovers and some not.

Walking in the extensive shopping district around Taksim. We stopped by Sim Mode Evi and other excellent costumers.

The Blue Mosque.

Incredibly beautiful both inside and out.

Also Blue Mosque. I just liked the way this photo came out.

This is a (sideways) head of Medusa at the base of a column in the underground Cistern in Istanbul. Interesting... it was probably scavenged from an ancient temple when they needed more rocks to complete building.

#1) Okay, the next six photos are of the Covered Market. This is an extensive complex of covered shops containing nearly anything you can imagine... including a multitude of costumers. Some terrific, some pedestrian.

#2 Covered Market

So what do they have there?

#3 Covered Market

Dishes, musical instruments, bedouin beads and jewelry, CDs, DVDs, ...

#4 Covered Market

Linen, crystal, dance costumes, tea, spices, novelties...

#5 Covered Market

Souvenirs, glasswork, fine jewelry, costume jewelry, fur goods...

#6 Covered Market. There are wide corridors, narrow corridors, all snaking around and around across a huge area. EASY to get lost... have to leave a trail of purchases to find your way out! But the locals will call out and help you if they see you go by two or three times....

Hotel toilet. Ta-daaa. The China toilet picture was the most clicked for enlargement, so I figured I better get a good one in Turkey! The locals steered us to recommended (though not non-smelly) toilets so we saw nothing too scary

Costumer off the Covered Market. TONS of costumes in a huge range of prices and sizes.

There are more costumes in the upper room, ut there are also four other costumers visible from where I was standing! Yum!

Hagia Sophia.

Incredible medeival church turned mosque. Features reclaimed mosaic artwork that shows remarkable execution of perspective, and some just wonderful vaulted ceilings and artwork modified from Christian to Islamic symbolism. An amazing wondow into medieval styling.


Detail of mosaic.

Vaulted ceiling.

Went shopping downtown  for sheet music, drums and more. Ended up with CDs for about $1.50/ea! Woooooo!

This was in the same complex. Kind of a Photo-Mat or Espresso-Kiosk-sized building featuring nothing but a zillion different Kanuns. I was overwhelmed by the literal value of the stock in such a tiny space at US prices!

For my ever-popular photos-of-McD collection...

Enjoy a Balit Filikolu or perhaps a nice Kofte Burger!

Or try the new McTurco!

View of the Bosphorous from Topkapi Palace.

Some gorgeous mosaic tile work at Topkapi.

Topkapi again

Classic archway at Topkapi.

Shira finds ice cream at the airport as we prepare to head on to Egypt. Is she resourceful or WHAT? See the Egypt '06 pictures for some of our further travels....

 Istanbul was incredible. I would move there without hesitation.

 A few final notes: if you are blonde you may well want to cover your hair in Turkey because they assume you are a Russian prostitute (a "Natasha") and you can get quite a bit of hassle.

Also never accept money with a face value numbering in the hundreds of thousands or millions of lire. They are no longer valid tender and merchants are trying to dump them on tourists.