Sunday, December 19, 2010

Anadolu Hisari Happenings

It's been a while since I last posted... I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family in NJ and returned to Istanbul after a short two weeks in the USA. The weather was still warm here (up to 70 degrees F) and I was happy to walk around outside. It takes me 45 minutes to walk to my local ferry landing and here are some of the sights along the way. On this walk, I noticed sheep grazing on the adjacent hill for the first time. I don't know if they are new neighbors, or old neighbors that I can now see with fallen leaves. I stopped by an enclosed gravesite of Hasan Efendi and family, evidently people of importance to this area. Another walker asked me if I spoke German, and then told me that the dates on the marker were of the Arabic system, and were about 300 years old. Ottoman grave markers for men have carved turbans or hats, which depict their status or position in life. Markers for women have carved flowers and designs.
When I got to the Anadolu Hisari fortress, I saw a black pickup truck, which may be a common sight in the USA, but not here, and ...

upon closer look, was sporting a sticker from Cabela's in PA. Hunting is not legal in Turkey, nor ownership of guns, so this may be a one man political statement.

A new restaurant rolled into town, and it looks like it could just as easily roll out of town if we do not give it enough patronage.
By the ferry landing, a new home is being built. Homes along the Bosphorus can only be rebuilt to look like the traditional home that was there. Traditional homes are wooden, although I see vinyl siding in recent rebuilds. For this home, a wooden frame was started and is now being reinforced with steel. I would guess the steel is insurance for earthquakes. Homes along the Bosphorus are called yali and they go for many millions of dollars a piece.

The warm weather was not to last forever, and a storm blew in, initially with snow. There was no accumulation, and I don't believe a flake of snow actually touched the ground. It was whirling around sideways, which I tried to capture in this picture of our adjacent hill of pine trees.
The snow was short lived, followed by torrential rains, high winds and flooding. It will be a different winter, for sure.

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