Friday, October 11, 2013

A Random Five post [020] — Venice to Athens via the Black Sea [003 Istanbul, Turkey, part III]

My Five Things Today

One:  We took off last weekend from blogging except for Sunday.  I did post a couple of poems on my other blog though.

I was teaching our class Sunday school lesson Sunday so I had been preparing for that.  Plus Katrin (our toy poodle) has been on medications that make her vomit everything, food, drink, and pills, back up.  I didn't even play golf Tuesday.

Then on Friday (by this time, I had Katrin off her meds) we left for Alexandria, La, for Mrs. Jim's family reunion.

Here are a couple of driving pictures and one of our breakfast at the LaQuinta Inn.  The breakfast wasn't anything extra nice, but it was tasty and quite adequate.  Especially since we would load up on food at the reunion.

I am sorry but I don't have any reunion pictures there.  It was at Harold Miles Park which sits on the side of a bayou.  We met mostly inside a screened pavilion.  The room adjoining was air conditioned.


Yesterday was the Christmas Bazaar at our church.  The Ladies Fellowship Luncheon group sponsored and set it all up.  It was well attended and merited a handsome profit.  The money would go to a scholarship fund for our graduating youth.

The two ladies on the right were greeting the attendees as they entered the church atrium.  I caught the lady below carrying her "Eat at Joe's" sign the week before in church.

Below is a picture of our gym and large assembly room.  These men (and I) were attending the Men's Power Lunch.  We have one of these each first Monday of the month during the school year.

Our speaker this time was Lee Strobel, a former atheist who told of his reasoning for converting to be a Christian.  He was at that time the Legal Editor of the Chicago Tribune.  In 1981, after two years of exhaustive research he reported, "I realized it would take more faith to maintain my atheism than it would to become a Christian."

He is an attorney and writer, selling more than 10,000,000 of his books. At present he teaches apologetics as a professor at Houston Baptist University.  You can read more of him at his Web site, .  Next month's guest will be singer and song writer, Larry Gatlin.  I'll buy your lunch if you'll be my guest.


Two:  Our second day in Istanbul we did everything on our own.  The evening of the first day we had some local talent to perform for us.  A singing and dancing group came to perform.  They were followed by a local belly dancer.  She was quite good. 

I had a belly dancer's daughter in my class at the college.  They daughter also danced and taught our Business Club, Phi Beta Lambda, a routine to do to the tune of New York, New York.  We then had a performing entry that year in the Mardi Gras in Galveston.


Below, left, is what we saw from our balcony in the evening.  The blue light on the left is one of the two bridges spanning the Strait of Bosporus.  The lights on the bridge put on a nice light show about every ten minutes.  At the upper left side of the picture is a remote ship' bridge where the pilot stands to guide the ship up to the dock to anchor.


Three:  In the morning we took the tram back to the mosque area and visited the Hagia Sophia.  Pictures are above and left.  This mosque "is a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum...

"From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935."  Wikipedia, Hagia Sophia

Four:  Our next stop would be the Grand Bazaar.  "Constructed in 1461, the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Çarşi), boasting 5,000 shops, is one of the largest covered markets in the world..." [10 of the best markets in Istanbul].

We walked over from the Hagia Sophia.  It was uphill part of the way and about a three quarter walk.  Mrs. Jim bought a purse, Karen got herself a fez and a small dish, and KP now has a new wooden yoyo, the old fashioned kind.

The second link above said the Bazaar had 22 entrances but we had a hard time finding even one when it was time for us to go.  Our next stop was MacDonald's for lunch.

The carts are different ones selling different food items.  I like to eat off the street but here we did only at the MacDonald's, not counting KP's ice cream earlier at from a little shop by the mosques.


Inside the bazaar there was no air conditioning and things were quite warm.  A few of the elite shops did have their own cooling system of sorts.  And there were a liberal number of water faucets to use for drinking or for filling water bottles.  KP enjoyed washing her hot and sweaty face and drinking a bit from her hands.  (She didn't come down with any dread disease.)

Four: After eating at MacDonald's, Karen and KP took the tram back to the ship.  Mrs. Jim and I strolled back down to the mosque area.  We both wanted to see the Basilica Cistern.  We only saw the outside because they charged a pretty high fee to go inside.  Plus the queue was quite long. [click on picture for larger size]

Five:  We sailed out of Istanbul before dark.  That meant that we got to see the east end of the Strait of Bosporus most all the way to the Black Sea before it got dark.
Doing that also meant we were able for the next to last time to observe Istanbul on both sides from the river (we had done this previously on our palace and river cruise combo excursion).



We had watched a lot of this part of the cruise from the upper forward club room.  That one had a dance floor but no one was dancing at this early hour.

KP is dressed here in a costume she and the rest of the kids in the Kids Club had made earlier in the morning. 

We enjoyed our morning outing on our own.  Mrs. Jim and I stayed a bit longer to see the cistern and the outside of another palace.

When we came back the first tram we caught did not go all the way across the Bosporus River to where our ship was docked out in the Strait.  So we had to ride back up to another stop where the correct tram also departed.  Then there was no problem.

This ends my writing of our Istanbul/Constantinople two days.  Also on this day I am posting about the Cats of Constantinople like I did the Dogs a couple of weeks ago.

Next will be telling of our day outing in Bulgaria.  On our own, again no paid excursion there for us.
Fine print stuff:

==> I am also linked up today with Nancy at A Rural Journal. She conducts her "A Random Five" blog hop there. Click that link to read other "A Random Five" posts or to join in with your own.

==> Click on any picture for a larger size and a better view.

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Wow! It was a very nice trip, Dr Jim :)
Great photos! Looks like an interesting and educational trip for the family :)
You had a most eventful week...I would love to have that 'life size' snowman. :o) Enjoy your weekend Jim.
Busy busy! Love circling the globe with you Dr. Jim!
great photos, you make me want to travel some, fun post, you are funny, and a very busy man!
enjoyed my traveling by armchair with your photos. i always like bazaar time -- so much fun for everyone. i hope Katrin is well. have a lovely week and take your vitamins -- you are very busy! :)
i love the snowman & the bridge. wow... nice shots this week. have a happy weekend. ( :
are you ever to OLD to wear a crown? i wonder??! i think you can get them at Burger King for FREE.
Great post and pics .... I felt like I was there with ya!!!

Hagia Sophia has always been a dream destination for me, Jim, but my favourite of your photos is the little one getting a dink from the tap. Have a lovely week. :)
These photos are all so fabulous! I've always been curious about Istanbul, but now i REALLY want to go! :)
Hummm big Jim,

Just on time to see this...Oooo I think I already told you about my dream to see the famous Hagia Sophia...And here you are sharing thoses wonderful pictures. Did you or Mrs Jim tried the belly dance ? Smiles !!!


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