photo diary: istanbul
I know I wanted to blog while I was traveling. Honestly, I had fully intended on doing so, but I just got so caught up with simply enjoying my trip that I just forgot. For the majority of my trip I had very poor WiFi service, if any at all, and I kind of liked that. I liked that I didn’t have the distraction of constantly being online while I was away on holiday. It made me focus more on my trip, the places I visited and all the things I got to do and see. I didn’t even crave having to go online like I would normally had I been home and didn’t have working internet. It was a wonderful feeling; quite liberating really. I purposely didn’t travel with electronics, just my iPod Touch for music and to get in touch with my mother via WiFi. No computer, no phone. I was disconnected from my life just for a few weeks. It was wonderful.
So, since I didn’t blog as I had intended, especially after my first post from Istanbul, I will leave you here a small photo post of my time in Turkey. I took over 900 photos on my trip to Turkey and Greece, but I’m only going to share a handful of them. Just the more important ones that seem to summarize my trip for me. I do hope you enjoy them.
I just want to point out a few things that I learned and loved about my time in Istanbul and surrounding cities of Gallipoli and Troy. Istanbul is a wonderful place of mixed cultures. I loved that because from it’s history, the city of Istanbul was built upon by so many different people and cultures. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Turks; Paganism, Christianity and Islam. It’s so wonderful to walk about this city and see these different cultural signifiers that in our modern time seem to clash and contradict each other. Yet here in Istanbul they coexist peacefully. It’s just so beautiful.
I visited the battlefields of Gallipoli quite blindly. I didn’t know anything about it except that a battle in World War I took place here. What I learned was that this place is very dear to the Australians and New Zealanders (part of the Allied Army). Every year on April 25th, they celebrate ANZAC Day in honor of all the young soldiers lost at Gallipoli during the battles of WWI. “‘Twas a Gentleman’s War!” and it was. What really hit me to my core was how cordial and honorable both the Allies and Turks were during battle. There was one story–the story of that statue I posted a picture of–that during the fight, a Turkish soldier rescued a wounded Aussie Soldier and carried him back to his (the Allied trenches), so that he would be safe from the on going fighting. That simply left me in awe. It’s just something so heartbreaking. To know that here we have these young men fighting against each other for other nations, yet when you take away all the fighting, all the war, they’re just young men who respect each other’s lives. It was very touching as well as extremely sad. It hurt very much walking around these battlefields. I can only imagine how my fellow Australian travelers who were with me felt. This was a part of them and their culture.
The ancient city of Troy was amazing. I don’t think I can properly put into words how amazing it was. It was just so incredible that I could walk the ancient city and see it up close. It’s a lot of imagining what once was since you’re walking through the ruins, but sometimes you come upon certain areas of the city that is still intact–like the ancient theatre–that you’re almost taken aback. It just makes you think how grand these ancient cities used to be and how tragic it’s downfall must have been; it was very beautiful.