Monthly Archives: September 2010

Blue Mosque / 蓝色清真寺


Istanbul / 伊斯坦布尔


150最后年的奥托曼帝国 那是皇帝住的地方。那里有三个枝形吊灯,重物是一公吨


My last stop in Turkey was Istanbul. I’ve been there before and it’s a
fantastic city. This visit was pretty laid back, as I had seen a lot of
the sights on my previous visit and only had a few on my list for this
visit. I also have a number of friends I wanted to visit with.

One sight that I went to a second time, was the Blue Mosque. The Blue
Mosque is really something else. I’ll post pictures of that one
separately. While in Istanbul I also made a visit to Dolmabahce Palace,
which was the residence of the Ottoman Sultan during the last 150 years
of the empire. It doesn’t have gardens as large as Versailles, but it is
a palace on the same scale. It has three chandeliers weighing in excess
of one tonne, including one that weights 4.5 tonnes. I also paid a visit
to Topkapi Palace, the original palace of the Ottoman Sultans. I saw the
palace last time I was in Istanbul, but missed the harem, which is not
to be missed. I didn’t miss it this time.

Unfortunately some of the people I know in Istanbul were out of town on
business the week I was there, so I didn’t get to see them. I did get to
see my friends Ilknur & Filiz, who I worked with several years ago at
OTI, and their husbands Mukesh and Ugur. And my friend Zafer joined me
for a nargile one night, which was a pleasure.


Cappadocia / 卡帕多西亚

After my relaxing boat trip, I jumped on a bus for 12 hours and headed
to central Turkey, to a region called Cappadocia. Cappadocia is notable
because it is a unique geographical formation caused by the eruption of
three volcanoes. The ash covered an area of about 100 square kilometers.
The ash is compressed and for the most part erodes easily, except where
there are harder minerals mixed with the ash. This forms ‘chimneys’ out
of which people carved houses.

There were also underground cities dug in the ash. They weren’t really
cities, but mostly used as storage for food supplies because of the
consistently cool temperatures underground. These were also used as
hideouts when attackers came. The one I visited went to a depth of 45m,
and could support 15,000 people for six months. There are about 200
similar underground cities in the region. The population of the region
has never been big enough to occupy them all, so they’ve always had a
surplus of ‘bunker’ space.

I stayed in a small town called Goreme, in a cave hotel! I arrived at
04:30 and immediately booked a hot air balloon ride, which left at
05:30. I spent two days there before heading back to Istanbul to meet
some friends and prepare for the next leg of my journey, in China.