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short trip to Greece   

Posted by NoEnzLefttoSplit - Jun 4, 2015 - 1:59pm
The plan was for 10 days sailing with old friends from NZ.. Well, we didn't get quite so much sailing in as expected as F. came down with a stomach bug but we ended up in Symi, one of the prettiest villages/islands on the planet, not before seeing dolphins jumping right by the boat as they chased fish, a patrol by Eurocopters checking for Syrian refugees and a huge storm that made us change anchorage in the middle of the night. 

meanwhile, in Istanbul:

Must be GiantsMust be GiantsMust be GiantsMosaic in the Hagia Sophia

this last mosaic is in the Hagia Sophia, easily the most impressive building I have ever seen. 
It is HUGE
It was built in 5 years and 10 months, and 
It was built in the  5th Century AD.

it's kind of like discovering the Celts actually invented rocket technology in 800AD and walked on the moon or finding out the Burj Khalifa was built by Arabs in 1600 using oxen and slave labor. It is that kind of mental disconnect.

Absolutely mind boggling. It was the Christian world's largest cathedral for 1000 years before becoming converted to a mosque. Luckily the Christian mosaics were merely covered in plaster (thereby conserving them) and forgotten for the next five hundred years. Ataturk made a sovereign decision to convert it to a museum, leading to the uncovering of the most amazing continguous 1500 years of history in one building. While we were there the Islam fundamentalists were protesting vigorously outside to return the building to a mosque. Not sure who is going to get it first, the fundamentalists or the next big earthquake to hit Istanbul. Nothing is permanent I guess. I feel very lucky to have seen it because I greatly fear it is not going to be around for ever.
14 comments on this journal entry.
What Day Is This?
helenofjoy Avatar

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

Posted: Jul 18, 2015 - 1:09pm

Thanks for posting! Beautiful.
JustineFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Teetering on the edge of Avenue D

Posted: Jun 22, 2015 - 7:54pm

A dream of mine to see both of those places. Thanks for taking me along!
Still here somewhere....
onlylynne Avatar

Location: On a bluff near the Missouri River

Posted: Jun 16, 2015 - 4:40pm

Very cool and beautiful. Lovely pics!

I would love to visit Greece. I lived there until I was almost a year old. Unfortunately, my memory doesn't go back that far. 

Antigone Avatar

Location: A house, in a Virginian Valley

Posted: Jun 10, 2015 - 8:27am

Rough life.

meower Avatar

Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe

Posted: Jun 8, 2015 - 4:58am

love Hagia Sophia.
Such an amazing place. How long were you in Istanbul? 
Living with passion
Alexandra Avatar

Location: PNW

Posted: Jun 6, 2015 - 7:04am

Wow - thank you!

BlueHeronDruid Avatar

Location: planting flowers

Posted: Jun 5, 2015 - 2:32pm

Oh, so jealous!
We're all riders on this train
ScottN Avatar

Location: Half inch above the K/T boundary

Posted: Jun 5, 2015 - 11:52am

Very nice! {#Cheers}
Being Norwegian is over-rated.
NoEnzLefttoSplit Avatar

Posted: Jun 5, 2015 - 9:35am

Lily, you are right. When you are there it is almost too pretty. You feel like you're walking through a picture postcard. Symi has had really tight controls on building and renovation and it has paid off. Also the long ferry trip puts off most package tourists so the kind of tourism is low scale but wealthy (mostly yachts and ocean-going motor yachts)*. The people are really friendly and take you in like you are family, more proof they are not suffering from tourist burn-out. And the rest of the island is absolutely barren, just wild goats wandering around.. it's a weird contrast to the town, which is like this little oasis of civilization in the middle of the ocean.

edit: guess this sounds really elitist, but it's not. Just your standard boaty type, not the mega-rich super yacht number. It's not St. Tropez.

edit edit:  guess I have to hand in my party membership now that I have lost all credibility.
i need a bogle for my glotch.
lily34 Avatar

Location: GTFO

Posted: Jun 5, 2015 - 5:38am

the views from your camera are exactly as I imagine greece to look when i read books set there. thank you!
Endeavor to Perservere
sirdroseph Avatar

Location: Yes

Posted: Jun 5, 2015 - 5:32am

Extraordinary pictures, just beautiful!  Major Jelly!{#Ass}
I eat pints
ScottFromWyoming Avatar

Location: Powell

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 - 5:56pm

Beautiful and the Hagia Sophia is amazing... Thanks!
I get around
haresfur Avatar

Location: The Golden Triangle

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 - 4:23pm

Wow. Looks like a great trip (minus the gastro).
Shine On.
Coaxial Avatar

Location: 543 miles west of Paradis,1491 miles east of Paradise

Posted: Jun 4, 2015 - 2:39pm

What a great trip...Thanks for sharing, B.{#Good-vibes}