Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tarsus: Where we Take the Scenic Route

We took a day trip to Tarsus and a few things in the area with our friends and their three youngest kids. First we went to see this canyon which for the life of me I can't find anywhere online. No clue what it's called or really even how to find it on a map.
Katie and I with Raymond and Robert

Wish I had some sort of stats to give you, but it was pretty awesome.

The guys took turns throwing rocks off the bridge into the water below.

We drove for a while on roads like this. No signs, no directions. 

After a while we stopped and asked a man with his donkey where this road would take us.
He said we would be "Doomed" if we continued.

And then we turned around.

Tarsus Waterfalls. Not quite Yosemite, but pretty.

St. Paul's Well. Because if there is an old well in Tarsus, Paul must have used it right?

Cleopatra's Arch, where she met Mark Antony, as seen from the car.

After some more driving on more improved roads we found another exciting site. Again, no signs (seriously I saw one sign off the highway), no directions, no one selling tshirts and mugs and charging $30 to enter. There wasn't even another person around aside from the shepherd keeping these sheep.

A Roman Road, probably 2000 years old.

Paul probably walked here.

We didn't walk too far, as it was getting dark and chilly.

Pretty amazing, the Romans really knew what they were doing.

Soon to come- Van: Katie's Home in Rubble

Adana Part 2: Where Tommy and I get Touristy

Dogs all over Adana

This ruin was off the coast of the Mediterranean on the side of the highway outside of Mercin. Ruins are so plentiful that many of them aren't really a big deal. In America we'd charge $30 to see each one and sell tshirts and postcards outside as well.   

That's the Mediterranean Sea in the background

Heaven and Hell

Overlooking Heaven

Hell. Its hard to get a feel for the size of this sinkhole. Wikipedia puts it at 420 feet deep.

Not that the railing would have helped, but I held on tight!

Rickety little platform that jets out over the sinkhole.

On his way to Heaven, some 300 steps go down to the bottom. He made it further than I did, but neither one of us got to the bottom. I knew for each crooked step I took down, I'd have to take back up.

Overlooking Lake Adana, on a clearer day you could see the mountains in the background

The Roman bridge still standing in Adana. We thought it was really interesting how each arch was shaped a little differently.

That's the big fancy mosque in the background, some say it's nicer than Sultanahmet. 

Tommy stood out in his green jacket, he was always easy to find. Everyone else had on black or gray.

Adana Part 1

After leaving Istanbul, I flew to Adana where my friend has relocated with her kids and Tommy flew to Van where my friend's husband was helping in the relief effort after the earthquake which caused them to relocate. We spent Monday through Saturday apart. But I had two other moms and six children to keep me busy.

Joanie. Such an adorable drama queen. She wasn't saying many words, but she can sing and dance!
And yes, that's a Starbucks cup.

That's Ataturk in the background. He's everywhere. Their national pride borders on religion.

 Raymond was 9 months old when I had last seen him. I totally shed a tear or two during his school performance.

Salgam, a nasty drink made from red carrot pickles. My friend made me drink it, just like she made me eat durian. 

Katie looking for cheddar cheese. But there's really only two kinds of cheese in Turkey, and cheddar isn't one of them.

Rachel and I making thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Dinner. Zucchini casserole, turkey breast (called hindi in turkish), gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, pineapple casserole, carrot souffle, mashed potatoes and rolls.

Most of my time in Adana was spent helping my friend find a new apartment. My first turkish word was "for rent."  I had a rough time with jet lag but loved spending time there. Katie says I picked up the language quickly, as in I was able to learn a few words and phrases and remember and use them. I was a bit sad when it was time to leave because I was enjoying that aspect more that I thought I would. I have no clue how to go about spelling anything I learned, so I won't bother with that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Istanbul Part 3: Us at Hagia Sophia

Once Tommy and I got back in the states, we hit the ground running. A trip to San Antonio to get Daniel, family staying with us for a few days, and Christmas to get ready for! And I'm working part time gift wrapping again. So blogging sort of fell behind. 

These pictures were supposed to be part of the last post, but I guess I didn't know what I was doing. So here they are now. Proof we were actually there.

 One of my favorite shots of the inside of Hagia Sophia

Tommy standing in front of the spot the imam leads muslims in prayer. This is obviously not original, but is also not a working mosque, or church. 

Me standing upstairs. Can you see the jet lag?

me and some big bell, haha

This was the courtyard area that baptisms were done in

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Istanbul Part 2: Hagia Sophia

View of the outside of Hagia Sophia

 I couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like to visit Hagia Sophia in its heyday.  It is such a large complex; what would it have been like to gather there with other believers to worship?

Dozens of large Candelabras provided light


Virgin Mary and Jesus

These were the only crosses I saw

view from upstairs

 There were several mosaics upstairs, some in better shape than this one. The details are amazing.


Worn down doorway
 You can see the 1600 years of use by how worn down this entry way is. I would love to take the audio tour here. Hagia Sophia changed hands many times before becoming a museum. While it is nice to have grand places to worship the Lord, there is such joy knowing the entire earth is His and He reserves no special privileges for those who call upon His name from loftier locations.

as always, you can click any of the pictures to see them larger.


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