Tuesday, April 03, 2007

ISTANBUL | Bus Trip to Kariya

A mosaic mural of Jesus. This is my favourite - Jesus with the startling eyes

We just got back from Kariya - where they have a small church that houses some Byzantine mosaic murals. A lot of it has fallen into disrepair, but there were some good ones - all Christian symbols. My neck's aching from all that cranking to look up at the ceiling and walls. It is beautiful to see these pain-staking works of art today - although it is annoying to see the occasional flash photography going off; the survival of these historical pieces depend on us minimizing the exposure of harsh lighting on them. Yet we still continue to flash away - thereby contributing to the gradual detoriation of these mosaic artwork. It is sad to see the pieces that had eroded away or were destroyed - seems to me they are reminders of what we had lost. It is well worth the trip down to a little explored part of town. And we should try to see them before they are truly gone.

We had to take a bus there - something totally unfamiliar to us. We were unsure at first, struggling with the buses indicated by Lonely Planet - until an older gentleman at the bus station led us to the correct bus. He also informed the bus driver and his co-worker where we're heading - so that they could tell us where to alight.

Once more, the kindness of strangers prevails. Or do we really look that clueless? :)

We later stopped by Asitane - one of the restaurant recommended by the Lonely Planet author. It is a little pricey, with starters at about 10~15 YTL. But the uniqueness of its menu is that it serves many dishes actually prepared during the circumcision feasts for the Sultan's sons. So it's a sample of several Ottoman royal delicacies. The main courses are all meat-based, but the cold and warm starters allow a good selection for vegetarians. But some dishes do have cheese. Oh, and they have great desserts.

1 comment:

jenclair said...

You sound as if you are having a wonderful time- inspite of incoveniences and neck aches!