Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Grand Bazzar

Turkey continues the tradition of over delivering in excitement and adventure from this trip. From guided tours through the Kapalicarsi (Grand Bazaar), Gallipoli and Anzc Cove, Yerebatian Cisterne, Hagia - Sophia Museum, Blue Mosque and roof top meals over looking the Marmara Sea, truly breath taking.

Grand Bazaar shopping is a sight to behold, 24 million shoppers per year visit here. Countless shops selling anything from spices, rugs, scarves, jackets, push bikes, you name you can buy it here. Not being a great shopper I was a little nervous, but soon got into the swing of the moment and found the bottom of my wallet very quickly.

Gallipoli was a very moving visit that saw us drive 4 hours to the peninsula and then an amazing history lesson for the next 5 hours, boy have we been taught a different perspective. Our Turkish guide was a fountain of knowledge who took the time to educate us on the Turkish views and thoughts as well as the Australian versions. The stories he recalled were heart retching and really made us question what was the point.

The strongest feeling I took from this journey was the fact the Turks consider the battle as a nine month gestation of 3 children in the womb of a horrible world war. At the end of the 9 months 3 nations were born Aus, NZ and Turkey and we will always be siblings. This is what drives such a strong brotherhood between the three nations.

The ingenuity and architectural intelligence of the Romans can be truly seen in the Yereatian Cisterne. To design and hide a labyrinth of under city rivers, storage dams and channels is something to behold. The fact is was only discovered in the late 1930's, says something about the cunningness of this era.

Hagia-Sophia Museum is an enormous monument to acknowledge the history of the religious influences over Turkey, during the past 1000 years. Having being used for christianity worship, then as a mosque, it has a wealth of hidden secrets that are only now being revelled. The solace that could be experienced is difficult to describe and knowing worship occurred so long ago, is very sobering.

The Blue Mosque represents the current Muslim faith of Turkey. Its beauty and design is breath taking, even with many thousands of worshipers a day visiting this temple, it still had a sense of peace and tranquility.

I am by know means religious, but there is something about visiting ancient temples, battle fields, under ground rivers and eternal flames commemorating the service of men half my age. What it is I don't know, but it gives you that goose bump feeling.

I have really enjoyed the educational aspects of Turkey and how it connects with Australia. The locals are so hospitable, friendly and more than ready for a haggle. I am pretty sure some one has had a win at my expense.

We head to France tomorrow, sad farewells from Turkey, another country I would love to visit some time soon.

Location:Ahmet Selehattin Sk,Fatih,Turkey

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