Monday, October 08, 2012
FIRST DAYS IN ISTANBUL
The Hagia Sophia
There is ancient and then there is very, very, old, age being a matter of degrees in centuries in ths city. Bits of Romanalia abound, like Roman pillars embedded into the sidewalk around which one must walk because Turkey honors its artefacts. As they should. By these terms, the Hagia Sophia may not be quite so old but venerable, none the less. Consider this: the museum was once a Bizantine church and yet even after it became a mosque, it retained many of its Christan elements. No desecration took place the way some religions desecrated the buildings of other religions. In fact all over Turkey, all religions are respected and their monuments treated accordingly.
That says so much about a culture but so does their passion for fiber. Textile lovers are a breed apart. I just discovered a place that sells the delicate needleart of the women of Eastern Turkey. Amazing.Otherwise, today John and I went down to the Arasta Bazaar to see our friend Mustapha and to organize a visit for our group when they arrive tomorrow. One couple have already arrived and we had a lovely breakfast with them before they took off to the Grand Bazaar. I'm guessing they could not leave without buying something!