Thursday, June 15, 2006

Yesterday, while our visas for Azerbaijan were being processed, we took the opportunity to visit Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine church constructed around 500 A.D. It was turned into a mosque around 1450 and a museum in the 1920s. The beauty of this structure, filled with both Christian and Muslim mosaics, was awe-inspiring; we'll let the photos try to do the experience some justice.

Our visit to the Grand Bazaar was also well worth it, considering that our feet were already tired from hours of standing. We plan on going back to this mega-souk (Arabic/Turkish/Persian for market) to do some more exploring as we only barely scratched the surface.

But today, today our journey has begun . . . or so says our new friend, the train-station oracle. His name is Ehdu (sp?). We were on our return trip from Levent, where we successfully picked up our Azerbaijan visas, and were checking out the train schedules, a little confused as to which train to take to the Turkmenistan Consulate tomorrow and which train to take East towards Georgia and Azerbaijan. In a small office at the end of the station was a desk marked “Tourist Information.” “Perfect,” we thought, “this may answer some questions.” The gracious Ehdu insisted we sit down and began to assess us with polite conversation. Instead of allowing us to ask our imperative questions, he gauged our life experience (quite accurately) and gave us small glimpses into his own understanding of life, culture, travel, and people. He was interrupted occasionally to answer trivial questions of other tourists (not worthy of his time?), direct people to the whirling dervish show happening nearby (these are on every corner in Istanbul), or to answer the phone or disappear behind a door only to return shortly with a mouth full of food. After quite some time, Ehdu served us tea and then sent us on our way, proclaiming, “Today, your journey begins!” So there you have it. We are still trying to decipher Edhu’s narrative revelation.
The Oracle at the Train Station


Blogger Ben "Andy's Brah....Brah" said...

He looks very similar to another oracle. I can't remember which...ohhhh I remember. The one from the matrix.

That church is amazing! Thanks for making the blog. I check must quench my thirst for more bloggy goodness.


8:08 AM  
Blogger Shelley said...

In the midst of an horrendous kitchen remodel I have finally cleared the plaster dust off my computer and found you. Bless you both for being so diligent in posting. It will take my mind completely off the horrors of my home. The photos are wonderful. I wish I was a mouse in your pocket, Sonja. And Andy, the new haircut is very nice though the one photo was SO stern!
Keep em comin'

5:57 PM  

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