Friday, November 27, 2009

Feast of the Sacrifice

Istanbul is emty. Everyone has gone to visit their relatives in their home citys.
Me and Sema are in a couple of minutes on our way to the airport to visit her relatives in Samsun during the holiday. Kurban Bayramı or Feast of the Sacrifice is a four day holiday in the muslim contries when you sacrifice animals to the God. Sema and other have well prepared be for what this means and I'm prepared for the worst.

From Hurriyet Daily News:

For practicing Muslims, the Feast of the Sacrifice is seen as an essential tenant of faith. A four-day festival, which takes place 70 days after the fasting month of Ramadan, it is a time for prayer and celebration. It is also an integral past of the pilgrimage to Mecca. After the animal has had its throat cut and the blood has drained away, the meat is cut and then shared – one third saved for the household, one third shared between friends and neighbors and the final third given to the poor.

The Feast of the Sacrifice is the reenactment of İbrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son İsmail (Isaac) to God. Seeing his obedience, God substituted a ram for İbrahim to sacrifice instead of his son. The story is told in the Bible and is significant for the world’s three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For Islam it is kept as a holy feast where a cloven-hoofed animal is ritually slaughtered in remembrance of İbrahim and for the forgiveness of sins.

Read more:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Midterm adventures

Im really longing to start working with my 984 pics from this weekend in Cappadokia, but had midterm both today and yesterday. Turkish students have a little different approach to exams than swedish people. In sweden mobile phones are forbidden and if you talk during the exam you will have to leave the class room without handing in the exam. Here is cheating not an exception - its a rule (today was it my luck)

This problem session is a joke, I'm laughing all through lesson. And the class started to laugh too when I said it was totally fine to have lesson in turkish, wonder why..!

Vue from Merts window in Dikilitaş. Notice the man at the roof, living the dangerous life!

A Baily's after 30 hour non stop studying right before the exam is a great idea according to Mert
(Notice the christmas tree in the left back. "Christmas tree?! I thought it was just decoration")

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Breathtaking Mountains

Im sorry I dont have time to write anything, will tell the fascinating history of Cappadokia when I come home to Istanbul. Now time for one more wonderful bufé that makes you eat until you feel sick. 

Sunset in Cappadokia

Taken with my Ixus:

In Cappadokia

In Cappadokia now, will tell you more later

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My bro!

My 'brother' Max that I got to know when I first visited Turkey 1,5 years ago has finally come back to Istanbul after three months of bicycling in east Europe. But now he's going to be a farmer in Switzerland instead, so he's leaving soon again... Fuck my two exams next week, I wish we could spend more time together!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New camera :)

My parents brought me a wonderful new blue Canon Ixus 200 IS frow Sweden (cameras are SO expensive here...). Going to use it as "party camera", the old one sucked and my Nikon is too big and I don't want anything to happen to my baby.

It has wide-angle so its possible to see the world in a new perspective. :)

Some test shots from the ferry Beşiktaş-Kadıköy:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Turkish bureaucracy

I most of the time think Turkey is wonderful, but about turkish bureaucracy have I nothing good to say. You are supposed to get a resist permit within the first month you are here, but I didn't know my address in Ankara and when I arrived to Istanbul didn't I know how to get it. Later I learn that you needed to book a time at the police office. I took the first free available, witch was one month later...

I needed to go to the police station three times (to leave to papers, to pay & to get the permit) and since its two hours away was it quite time consuming.  But the the worst part comes when you arrive there. My appointment was at 11.oo but I knew from friends that they don't accept students until 16.00. So why should we be there at 11??? And the queue then is hours long! Me and Musa were smart and arrived at 22.00 instead, got last in the queue, and "only" had to wait for two hours.

My student card arrived too, so after two months at Bogazici am I finally a real student.

And after third try I got my bus card too, Halleluja!

The queue at the police station to get a queue ticket, I'm not joking, the real waiting comes after this... 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Sinken Palace

The Basilica Cistern, also known as The Sinken Palace is locaded in Sultanahmet, and nowadays one of the tourist attractions that are often forgotten about. That is a huge loss since it's one of the most magnificent places in Istanbul.

It was built in the year 532 during glorious days of Constantinople to provide the city with water. It consists of 336 columns and holds 100 000 000 kg water.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Study day

This is me right now, studying in the sun at Marmara café. Come by if you want some fresh pressed juice :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hotel vue

This was the vue from my parents hotel room in Sultanahmet. Can't complain, right! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oranges from Göcek

Picked these from a tree at the south coast. Nice to remember today when I almost drowned in rain...

Home for Chistmas

My parents are on the plane right now. I'm going to miss them so much, but I hope they had as much fun as I did during this week. I'm so so happy that they liked Istanbul!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Atatürk died 9.05 a.m.

10 November 1938 at 9.05 A.M, Turkish people lost their savior and the founder of the Turkish Republic. He died in his bed at Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, at the age of 57, defeated by the liver ailment he was suffering from.

Today I'm thinking of all the amazing thinks he archived for this country and what more he could have done if he didn't pass away.

Something amazing is happening at 9.05 - exactly the time he died. People stop with whatever they are doing and have a quiet minute (well, quiet is not really the right word..) for Atatürk. Me and my parents experienced it from Eminönü. The cars stopped at the street, the boats were horning, the fishermen dropped their fishing rods and people stopped walking:


On thing I wanted to show my parents were how extremly alternate Istanbul. There are some really poor areas here but there are also some really really rich areas. This is why you can never really got to know this city or get tired of it.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

New tourist day

We have soon seen the "10 top Istanbul" in our guide book, for example Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Archaeological Museum & Boat trip on Bosphorus. Here are pics from Dolmabache - the most fantastic palace in the world, where six sultans and Atatürk lived. According to me it beat Versaille, Louvren and say whatever. Unfortunately no photos inside, but maybe thats for the best - it's impossible to catch the beauty and magnificent of the palace on picture. Here are some pics from outside:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

In Taksim with parents

On of the places you can't miss at night in Istanbul is Taksim - the restaurant and bar/club street. Me and my parents headed there yesterday night and they really got to feel how a friday night in Istanbul is like. We ate at the fish street, mum and dad could choose what fishes they wanted prepared from a big plate the waiter came to our table with.

Later dessert and some Raki testing in the french area with live music and an amazing vue!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mum & Dad in Istanbul

They arrived tonight and we went to have a wonderful delicious turkish dinner. And we are going to have a wonderful week. Have to sleep now so I can act a tourist all day tomorrow.

Meeting at the airport!

Atatürk Airport Metro

Three crazy tourists photographing the roof at the restaurant

Thursday, November 5, 2009


If you ask turkish people about Halloween most of them would say it was something they saw in an American tv-show but they couldn't tell how and why to celebrate it. Kim and Melisa knew and made a big Halloween party.

Some pics from a new photo program I found: