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Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Neighborhood

 On all my trips in the Middle East the flight home has been out of Istanbul so the last several times that I have been to Istanbul I have stayed in the same hotel and the area around it has become my neighborhood. In the top photo my hotel is the brown wood building on the right side of the street. The yellow building straight ahead is the Four Seasons Hotel.
 The second photo is my grocery store and the blue awning to the right of it is Emre's gallery. Behind me as I took this photo is a cafe and if you walk to the back of it there are some wooden stairs that go down into a part of the Byzantium Palace that has been excavated. It was built of brick and this section has several domes built of brick. The palace was reported to be over a mile square and when the Four Seasons was building an addition they also found it went under their hotel. Like a lot of cities that are thousands of years old, Istanbul was just built over the top of what was there before. The owner of a carpet shop that first showed me this passage way said that one day an old man had come by his shop and told him that as a kid he had gone down a hole behind his shop and had been able to go all the way to the sea through underground ruins.

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