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Trip to Turkey September 2004
Tuesday, September 7, 2004

After such an exhausting day yesterday we were surprised and delighted that Sarah and Sadi expected us to spend time with them the next day, too.  Their comments, insights, and warnings became the map by which we could navigate through Istanbul.

We had another wonderful breakfast at our hotel.  During breakfast, we met a couple of people from New Zealand and talked with them about what we had seen and what we were planning to see; what they had seen and what they were planning to see.  There was something about the informal and intimate, familial feeling of the hotel that lent itself to introductions and conversation.

Again, we went to Asia Minor Carpets and met with Sadi.  He said Sarah was going to be delayed and suggested we explore the Underground Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayż).

The story of the Underground Cistern is that its existence was forgotten, but there were rumors that in a certain part of Istanbul, families could catch fish from a well inside their homes.
entering promenade of Underground Cistern The Cistern is a shallow underground pool, in a room of stone larger than a couple of football fields, with a high ceiling of many arches and more than a hundred pillars.  The pillars were scavenged from many different temples and places, so they don't match perfectly and extensions have been added to some to make them all a uniform length. 
There is a bridge-like walkway that loops around the cistern so that visitors can see the columns, the shallow water beneath them, the "ghost-like fish", the beautiful reflective lighting, and the interesting acoustics. entering promenade of Underground Cistern

one of the arched lanes in the Cisternshort pillar base extension
Medusa head on her side
no way will I ever believe this isn't a pillar from a Goddess templedetail of pillar from Goddess temple

An hour or so later we returned to Asia Minor Carpets and then went on another wild ride through Istanbul to catch a Tourist Ferry across the Bosphorus.  The ride was windy.  We stayed outside for the better view.  We saw huge bridges, castles, ancient walls.

Created:  November 15, 2004
Updated:  August 24, 2005
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