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Istanbul or Constantinople

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I have been travelling a lot in the last couple of weeks and this weekend I found myself in Istanbul. I was speaking at one of those huge regional conferences – I believe there were about 1,500 people, which is a scary thought. Fortunately, I talked to smaller audience, but still from a podium and behind a lectern. I am so ready for this format to implode. Why would anyone put up (and pay for!) being talked at for an hour(!) about… anything really?! Asking questions of the speakers yes, but listening to someone droning to the beat of a powerpoint presentation is not my idea of spending an hour of my life. And so I hate subjecting people to anything even remotely resembling that, but often I do not have much choice.

Be that as it may, I found myself in Istanbul and ready to explore the city. I have visited some of the sights, only had one day so far and if you really want to know how I feel about this place, I blogged about my impressions here. My favourite place has to be the Basilica Cistern. An amazing place, full of underground gloom and dark magic. It has very little to do with the Turkish city above the ground as it was build by the emperor Justinian in 6th century.

Cistern_dark_magic

And some strange looking green columns…

Cistern_green_column_1

And mysterious faces of Medusa (yes, the one with the snake hairdo) upside down and sideways…

Cistern_medusa_face 

Well, that’s all folks. For now. There will be more when I get back to London and permanent internet connection.

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4 Responses to “Istanbul or Constantinople”


  1. Samizdata.net
    on Dec 11th, 2005
    @ 7:09 am

    Ancestral shudders

    Stepping out of the Hyatt in Istanbul yesterday morning to the sound of the muezzins calling to prayer, an ancestral shudder came over me. The chant was alien but not insignificant. I grew up with tales of Turkish invaders ravishing my country


  2. Michael Jennings
    on Dec 12th, 2005
    @ 1:18 am

    I am stuck in London and you are in Istanbul. I am so jealous.


  3. Jackie
    on Dec 12th, 2005
    @ 18:37 pm

    That second photo is truly stunning. I gasped when I saw it!


  4. oscar
    on Dec 29th, 2005
    @ 9:31 am

    istanbul is a great city

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