A Travellerspoint blog

Exploring Istanbul

19UploadedFile0.jpg 12UploadedFile1.jpg 6UploadedFile2.jpg Today we visited the amazing Basilica Cistern, built in the sixth century, its dome supported by 336 marble pillars, with an underground cistern capable of holding 100,000 tons of water. Then we walked through a beautiful, huge park (photos), in which was, among other things, a very interesting Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam. It had replicas of ancient instruments relating to astronomy, medicine, time measurement, and many other fascinating things. There is no doubt there were some very brilliant people much earlier in the history of the world! Lunch was in the park overlooking the river (photo). The day ended with an outstanding meal just around the corner from our hotel (#2 of 898 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor). We'lll have to go there again before we leave!

Posted by Rrevtom 12:07 Comments (0)

Relaxing in Istanbul

18UploadedFile0.jpg This morning we said farewell to our new friends from our St. George College class and walked our suitcases the half-hour walk to our hotel for the next six nights. We're still in the central part of Istanbul near most of the important sites and can walk to most of them. The hotels here are all small with small rooms, though ours now is very comfortable (thanks to TripAdvisor). The photo is of our room before we got "settled in." We had dinner in a great restaurant in the area (thanks again, Trip Advisor) with one of our class members who isn't leaving until tomorrow. He is also in the second class with us in Jerusalem (also on a Lilly grant, as was one other member of our class).

Posted by Rrevtom 10:38 Comments (0)

Last day of our first course

17UploadedFile0.jpg 11UploadedFile1.jpg 5UploadedFile2.jpg Today (Monday) was the last day of our course on Paul and Turkey. This morning was saw a beautiful museum of ancient frescos and mosaics, and then we saw the famous "Blue Mosque" of Istanbul (photos). Tonight we had our closing Eucharist and "graduation" and then our farewell dinner (photo). At breakfast we say farewell to our new friends. The course exceeded all expectations, helped us to realize the high value of connecing with our ancient past in the church, and introduced us to some wonderful new friends from the Aglican (Episcopal in our country) and Presbyterian traditions. We all share a powerful and meaningful history!

Posted by Rrevtom 12:28 Comments (0)

An awesome Mothers' Day in Turkey

10UploadedFile1.jpg 4UploadedFile2.jpg 3UploadedFile3.jpg Today was also Mothers' Day in Turkey! Interesting. It was also a marvelous day of sightseeing. This morning (after our 6:30 Eucharist) we went to Nicaea, where two of the seven ecumenical councils were held. One was in a Byzantine church (still standing) in 787 BC, though the building has been turned into a mosque (photo), but the most well-known one was in 325 AD, when much of the Nicene creed was formulated. All that remains of the building where that first ecumenical council took place is some of the stone foundation, now in Lake Nicaea (photo - "Here I stand!"). Then we took a ferry across the Sea of Marmara to Istanbul, where we saw the magnificent Hagia Sophia ("Saint Sophia"), built orginally by Constantine in 360 AD and rebuilt again after having been destroyed. In 553 the fifth ecumenical council was held in this building. In 1054 it was the place where Pope Leo IX excommunicated the eastern church, marking the separation of the Orthodox Church and the Roman Church. In 1453, the church became a mosque, and in 1935 a museum. It has the biggest dome in the world (photo).

Posted by Rrevtom 12:39 Comments (0)

The Green Mosque, Bursa

16UploadedFile0.jpg On Saturday we drove quite a bit, ending in Bursa and visiting the beautiful "Green Mosque" there (photo). One is impressed with the sincerity of those worshiping there, but saddened because they do not know Christ as their Savior.

Posted by Rrevtom 11:57 Comments (0)

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