Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photo Club -- Istanbul

I have joined the Photography Club here in Istanbul.  I have really enjoyed these ladies and all they have taught me.  

Each month we have a couple of "Challenges" -- for the first couple of weeks of November, we were to look for "framing".  

While Terry and I were walking around SultanAhmet he noticed this couple sitting in the garden next to the Blue Mosque.  Before I could get into position for the shot -- they stopped.  I was disappointed, then I caught the young man's eye and motioned for him to kiss her again.  He was more than willing to accommodate me . . . 
 Sometime later, I saw this couple walking under the tracks . . . arm in arm.
The next day. . . after breakfast in the Nisantasi, Terry and I walked down the hill.  We were heading for the palace of the Last Sultan -- Dolmabachce Palace.  I was thinking that it would be something that Terry would enjoy.  When we got there, the line was wrapped around the corner.  As we walked toward Ortakoy, I was looking for opportunities to frame a shot.  This was at the Imperial Gate.
 Thanks for stopping by . . . Sheryl

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Basilica Cistern -- Istanbul

Over the last Turkish holiday, Terry actually DIDN'T WORK!  I know, it was shocking to me too!  We were going to try and head out of the city, like most do.   I made the suggestion that we do some touring around, just spending time walking in this fascinating place.  Terry really hasn't had the opportunity to just "be" in this city, so he agreed.

On Monday, we went to SultanAhmet.  This is the oldest part of the city.  Originally Byzantium, then Constantinople and finally Ottoman Istanbul.  It is suggested that this area was settled as early as the 6th millennium BC.  

Our first stop was the Basilica Cistern.  This is a very interesting site.  The cistern still actually holds water.  Huge fish swim under the walkways and make the water move and shimmer under the lighting.  Originally the cistern held 18 million gallons of water.  There are 336 pillars, 26 feet in height.  These seem to have been brought here from other structures that had either fallen or were dismantled.  In the far back area, are two carved pedestals of Medusa Heads.  One is upside down and the other on it's side.  
 Shooting in low light is difficult without a tripod.  In the cistern, I had the added obstacle of water dripping from the ceiling.  I changed the settings on my camera and braced it against the hand rail.  This is the best of quite a few shots.  I was trying to hold the camera still while shielding it from the droplets crashing onto my back.
 This is another view into the lighted darkness.  
This is one of the Medusa heads used as a pedestal for rear columns.  According to the placard in the cistern, the original location in which these carvings came from is unknown.  They are pretty sure they were scrapped from another location.

We had a great time together.  I loved showing Terry around.  He actually said that he wanted to go and see some more.  Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Christmas Ornaments

Today I have had a great time working on Christmas ornaments for the IWI Christmas Bazaar. I am a member of the American Women of Istanbul and we have a table for this event. Christmas music playing (loud), I'm singing' away . . . just love doing this stuff!

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Big Orange Cat

I don't usually take pictures of the animals here.  There are so many of really sweet dogs and cats on the street.  Yes, street dogs and cats are everywhere.   The municipality picks up the dogs and sterilizes them, gives them injections and returns them to the street.  This accomplishes two things -- one: it keeps the street clean from food tossed away.  two: it keeps the cat population in check.  

The cats are everywhere.  People actually drive around in their cars feeding these poor little animals.  They are wild and many of them are very sick.   Once in awhile you find a sweet one that has been adopted by a restaurant or other type of business.  On Thursday, some of my friends and I went to a restaurant near the shore.  This cat was a favorite and frankly, the biggest cat I have ever seen in Istanbul!  

She was pretty laid back while sitting there with me on the sofa -- she is pretty territorial in her little area.  She even got her back up at the dog that came to visit.  

Thanks for stopping by . . . Sheryl

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fresh Fish

Today was market day -- going to the fresh produce bazaar is an experience. In each area of Istanbul a Pazaar (local) Market is set up once a week. This produce is grown locally and brought into the city to sell. Today, however, I didn't eat before I left -- we were heading to an area of the bazaar where they sell food and we walked past by this fish stand. (I don't care for the smell of fish! Especially on an empty stomach!)

Even thought I am not a big fan of fish, this is a very big part of the daily life here in Istanbul and Turkey in general. This fish is fresh and I would even bet caught this morning. I love how they take great care to make sure they all look like they are smiling at you . . .

I always think of mom and how much she would have loved this type of market when she was a young housewife. Really, along with fruits and vegetables, you can get anything from underwear to winter coats here. On my trip today I bought a scarf, some embroidery scissors, mandarin oranges, nuts, onions, seedless grapes, small juice glasses and a celery root. I am going to try and make some lentil soup -- Turkish style!

Thanks for stopping by -- Sheryl

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:4 Lavent Bazaar

Monday, October 3, 2011

Christmas craft

My sister and I used to start listening to Christmas music in August. It was a great day for us when VHS was available and we could watch the movie "White Christmas" -- I know! Those old habits die hard for me --

I wanted to do a Christmas project for our home here in Turkey. So, I selected a embroidery pattern from my sisters collection. Jana Davidson is a gifted artist who has designed award winning quilt patterns. is where you can find this pattern and many more. I didn't want to make a table runner but a long pillow cover for our couch. The "Santa with his Reindeer" pattern was perfect. Using Christmas fabric for a ruffle, I think it will add a festive touch.

I have used some new style floss (new to me) that is hand dyed so it makes a nice variegated look. Almost like adding a shadow as you go.

For me, this has proven to be a very mobile project that I have stitched while on plane, train and bus. I just love the conversations it has started with both ex-pat and Turkish women. Everyone loves hand made items!

Thanks for stopping by -- love, love Sheryl

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Istanbul Turkey

Friday, September 30, 2011

Patmos Island, Greece

Patmos Island, Greece

I had been wanting to go to Patmos since I moved to Turkey.  A while back, I talked to Joy about going with me.  We made our plans (which she is exceptionally good at!) set the date and went.  It really is no easy task.  Taking a plane to Izmir and a transfer to Kusidasi, we stayed the night to begin our trip into Greece the next morning.  Boarding our first ferry was interesting because it seemed small to both of us.  Our first leg was about an hour long and when we arrived at Samos we were very hungry.  After eating at the Samos Hotel we heading for the bus to transfer us to other side of the island. We waited about 3 hours to get on a larger boat that made several stops along the way.  We were very excited to be taking the ferries but when we got on this boat, this was the upper deck seating.  

 After making a couple of stops for passengers, supply delivery and large vehicle transport we pulled into the cove that was the port at Patmos.  I took this picture (1 of 3 before the sunset) as we pulled in.
We went to our hotel were we had a wonderful dinner.  The owners of the hotel met us upon arrival and we could feel they were genuinely glad we were there.  The next morning we had a large breakfast, in the morning sun, looking out over the mourned boats in the small cove on the south side of the island.  ( I am sorry to say that I didn't get a picture of our hotel, huh?)  
We left after breakfast to head to the monastery built in honor of St. John the Revelator (1100AD).  He was exiled to this island at around 100AD from Ephesus.  
These are the courtyard bells from the balcony.
The monks are there and moving around the monastery.  We were in the presence of one giving some kind of sermon (In Greek).  The small chapel was ornate with gold leaf and frescoes that really were impressive.  The above picture is of one the many entrances to rooms off the courtyard.   We were in their home.  
When we began our descent down the hill we stopped for coffee at a place that was really right on the edge of the hill (mountain?) The view, as you can see, is amazing!  I only wish I could have captured the scope of it.  The water was so blue and in the deeper areas (while on the ferry) it looked navy.  Unlike anything I have seen in any other water I have been on.  After our snack, we walked down to find the entrance to the "Grotto of St. John" -- well, we missed it!  We did find a nice lady at the health clinic who was very nice to us after she told us it was closed for the day.  She called us a taxi and we went back to the hotel to lay by the pool and read.  (One of my most favorite things to do!) 
After it began to cool down a bit -- we grabbed our cameras and went for a walk along the beach.  I really can't remember being in place that was so peaceful and quiet.  When you would hear an occasional vehicle it would be a surprise.  Our walk was along a road to the beach which as small pebbles.  As we walked, the size of the pebbles became rocks.  Small boats were tied up at this jetty and no one in sight.  We walked around to the other side and as were standing there suddenly we were hearing bells.  Looking across the water to another little island was a herd of goats.  They were being herded by the dog around the the end of the island.  It really was cool!  As we walked around to the other side, we found a great place for dinner.  
We did go to the "Grotto of St John" the next next morning before we left.  I was amazed at how it had been filled up with "stuff" -- the Greek Orthodox Church has ceremonies here.  You could see the basic  cave and how rustic it was to have lived there.  A small Chapel has been built onto the side.  The view from here was beautiful.  There really wasn't anything I didn't like about this island or our trip. 

Thanks for stopping by -- Love, Sheryl