Hagia Sophia, Iznik

The last of the ruins photos–the Hagia Sophia in Iznik. Blah blah blah icons. I took no photographs of Pergamon nor of Ephesus. Too mind boggling to reduce to a snapshot, which really is what I take. It was well worth the tie spent to tour both places but while the experience was moving, I just thick pics of fallen down rock is all that griping. Or funny. or any of the either reasons I snap photos. So I leave you in the able hands of Google Pictures. But this ancient basilica, home to the second Nicene council, moved me. All the more so for my having been so recently in the church in Torda, Transylvania where the edict protecting people of my faith from death by fire was agreed to and proclaimed. The Nicene basilica is today a living mosque, with faithful Muslims praying alongside workers carefully restoring the building for the benefit of Christian pilgrims. The second Nicene council, like the council of Torda, marked an effort to find a third way–a way to resolve a religious dispute. It was a council that kept the eastern and western Christian church together, if only for another 150 years. For that reason, it moves me. Well, that and the delight I take in really, really old mosaics!


We begin with Sufis

Seeing past the jilbab

Hagia Sophia

And then a man tried to sell us a carpet

Passing remark

S gets a shoe shine

Outside the mosque, inside the mosque

Blue Mosque


Street food

Sneaking snaps in Istanbul

Next up: Iznik

After a day of Nicean ruins…

Buying and making tile

Bath day for S

Life in the small Muslim town of Iznik

Hagia Sophia, Iznik

Hookah lesson

At the market

Turkish National Poem

A parade

Random nature snaps

Gozleme making

The usual suspects



Muslim women

Surprise visit

The music makers

Hat or head scarf?


Landscape I

Landscape II

Landscape III

Landscape IV

Landscape V

Column Church



Parting remarks