Chora Church and Fetiyeh Camii

Trip Start Jun 19, 2008
Trip End Sep 04, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Monday, July 21, 2008

As I mentioned in one of the boring entries, it's the same 4-5 people who are willing to go on adventures during the day and go out at night (any night).  Today's adventure consisted of visiting Chora Church (closes on Wed) and Fetiyeh Camii (mosque).  We recruited a few more people, so we could get a cheap cab ride directly from the university.  Most Turkish cabbies don't have a problem with packing 6 people into the cab, and we students obviously don't have a problem sitting on top of one another if it means saving 3-4 liras.  Fumbling about and consuming more than a healthy dose of fumes on the road, we ended up at Chora Church (not before knocking on the door of Edirnekapi mosque that was closed for construction). 

Chora Church, now a museum, is reknowned for its splendid late-Byzantine mosaics.  We were so excited to get in until we saw that "10 ytl" sign at the ticket office.  One guy complained about the price, and I bravely went up to the ticket office and asked for a student discount in Turkinglish, even though there was no mention of student discounts anywhere.  The ticket officers required our student IDs, and the American ones won't do; you have to have a Turkish student ID.  Our university being lame, we didn't get IDs, so I tried to explain that we go to this university and that we just have not gotten our IDs yet.  My roommate pulled out our syllabus and handed it to one of the officers who scrutnized it.  No, they said, you must have IDs.  I was like, "Noooo, lutfen, lutfen, we are oranciyim, no money, we love Turkey!"  My friends were cracking up in the back, one tried to plead with me, and another- an art history major- was just antsy to pay and get in.  Then my roommate whipped out the mini Turkish flag we got at the election campaign and started waving it in the background.  We were making such a ridiculous scene that the three ticket officers congregated in the corner and started discussing what to do with us.  Then one came out through the back door with 6 tickets and put each one through the rotating gate so we could pass through!  We got in for FREE!  Yay!  We were all very, very pleased having saved 60 ytl total.  The church itself had such great mosaics and frescoes that I probably wouldn't have minded paying the regular price.  We then used the money we saved to buy souvenirs and headed off to our next destination: Fetiyeh Camii.

The location of Fetiyeh Camii is somewhat obscure and difficult to find.  We were directed by many people, some more trustworthy than others, and some little kid offered to help us out.  He probably goes to this place all the time, what the heck, right?  NOT.  He led us to some weird alleyway to a weird mosque and swiftly turned around to demand money!  The boys in our group were irritated and kind of scared him away.  We finally got there somehow.  It had turned into a museum as well, and we had to pay an entrance fee of 2 ytl.  Let me just say it was not the most impressive place we have seen- more like the least impressive site.  We were the only ones inside of the place, so we could just play around.  Either way, we were very pleased with the success of today's adventure.
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