Touring around Eurasia…..

I am not a good tourist…..

Pictures are often just not my thing.

So when we walked into our first tourist sight at the start of our 4 day tour, I didn’t pull out my camera. Not even once.

Sometimes I just want to walk unencumbered into a place and just feel.

To absorb the full extent of the surroundings with no distractions.

So that’s what I did.

We walked into the Hagia Sophia, and I didn’t take one picture.

I walked around, at times almost in tears, in awe of the beauty of it.

Here was a building, that had stood the test of time, still retaining its beauty, filled with history.

This cathedral, turned mosque, turned muesum I had read about it middle school and here I was, walking inside of it. I got to touch the cool marble and walk up and down the ramps, in the four corners of the cathedral that serve as buttresses. Because the building was completed in only 5 years, they weren’t able to give the foundation time to settle, therefore the walls started to lean in. Hence the buttresses/ramps in each corner.

I totally didn’t understand the buttress thing until I actually walked inside of them!

We saw the huge discs with the Koran on them, the purple pillars that are made out of ancient marble, beautiful mosiacs (again something I learned about in school) paintings of monarchs that had donated a lot of money to the church and thereby supposedly gaining entrance into heaven, some of the cherubim that are in the four corners in the center room.

It was a dream come true for me. πŸ™‚ How often do you read about something in school…..something that happened halfway across the world and many years ago and actually get to see it?!

Our whole group decided that this was one of the best ways to learn history as we journeyed through the Topkapi Palace, Ephesus, Laodacia and many other places.

By the 3rd day I started to take pictures.

How else could I resist this awesome tile work that resembles a quilt pattern???? (And yet I resisted the Hagia Sophia….well I figured my sister Hannah could get that for me….when/if she posts a blog about her experience of the trip I will let you know….she will give you a better overview….and such better pictures…this is another reason I am awful at taking pictures. Why take them when your sister will take better ones?????)

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Yup…the quilter in me couldn’t help myself. I am starting to see quilting patterns everywhere!

Hm…maybe I could figure out how to free motion quilt this?Β 

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Talk about an awesome idea for a border!

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I think this is where quilters got their original ideas…..

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There has got to be a quilt out of this pattern.

I never expected to get inspired walking around ruins!

On our last day, after we went to Laodacia, we went to Heriapolis, a place of healing waters, and doctor fish. πŸ™‚

After seeing the pool and walking in pools very similar to these,

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I decided to take off my shoes…..see my wonderful chaco tan line???? (I am kinda too proud of it)

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I had a ton of dry skin on my feet, and the group said they would pay for the “doctor” fish to eat the dead skin off. We had visited this booth earlier, and put our hands in one of the 3 rows of tanks, that contained these small fish. The fish would immediately swarm whatever body part you put in the water and you would feel an extreme tickling sensation.

Let’s just say it was all I could do to keep my feet in the water the first 5 minutes of my 25 minute session.Β  After those first five minutes the tickling sensation wasn’t nearly as pronounced and I could actually look at my feet without squirming.

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They didn’t get all of the dead skin off, but my feet definitely felt softer!

In other news, the never ending journey did end and I made it safely to my destination, and am currently working on settling in. I just wanted to make sure that posted something about my tour.

I hope you enjoyed πŸ™‚

Jess

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