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Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... evangelical Christian nation and Mecca continuing to function under its authority. Sometimes the oppression was not subtle: one Patriarch in the 1820’s was brutally martyred by the Ottoman Sultan for failing to prevent the local Greeks from rioting.
As Jews we can certainly relate to this situation, having experienced 1878 years of practicing our religion under the authority, and often the domination and persecution, of other religions. Over the ...
... and it was quite strange to be seeing where the ANZACs fought. It was quite a day, a 7 hour tour, but quite worthwhile. From there we bussed to Bursa, a conservative town south of Istanbul. We had met Talat, a Turkish man, earlier in our trip who had offered to show us around the town with his wife Seda. They were the loveliest couple and spoiled us for two days with their time and generosity, we were very ...
... explored areas it is time to drive into the heart of Cappadocia, Göreme NP. More tourists so more rules, no more nature camping possible here. I am invited to come to a 4-star hotel with hamam, swimming pool etc. Sounds good as I did not have a bath for some days. Turns out that he is (as I expected) not the hotel owner, but he does arrange me to have a shower and takes me to dinner. All well, until he starts to talk about us being 'Special friends' during ...
... chocolateries and restaurants. The avenue is surrounded by late Ottoman era buildings designed in Neo-Classical, Neo-Gothic, Renaissance Revival, Beaux-Arts, Art Nouveau style from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The caddesi (avenue) is a fun stroll. We were surprised to stumble into Sant'Antonio Kalisesi (Saint Anthony's Church) a 1912 church built in Venetian Neo-Gothic style.
... was built is just unbelievable. We also really loved the idea that it was built as a church, and became a mosque instead of being torn down. There is so much hatred and mistrust between Christians and Muslims today- I wish they could all add a pilgrimage to Aya Sofia to see the Islamic writings blended with Christian imagery of Mary... And perhaps learn something of tolerance.
The Basillica Cistern is another bizarre creation- it is a humid, dark underground ...