Travel Photo: Hagia Sofia Empress Zoe mosaics

Aya sofia or Hagia Sofia is so filled with history every corner represents a certain era displayed on its walls and architecture as you can see in this photo the art dated to 11th century
Quoted from Wikipedia:

"The Empress Zoe mosaics on the eastern wall of the southern gallery date from
the 11th century. Christ Pantocrator, clad in the dark blue robe (as always the
custom in Byzantine art), is seated in the middle against a golden background,
giving His blessing with the right hand and holding the Bible in His left hand.
On either side of His head are the monograms IC and XC, meaning Iēsous Khristos.
He is flanked by Constantine IX Monomachus and Empress Zoe, both in ceremonial
costumes. He is offering a purse, as symbol of the donation he made to the
church, while she is holding a scroll, symbol of the donations she made. The
inscription over the head of the emperor says : "Constantine, pious emperor in
Christ the God, king of the Romans, Monomachus". The inscription over the head
of the empress reads as follows : "Zoë, the very pious Augusta". The previous
heads have been scraped off and replaced by the three present ones. Perhaps the
earlier mosaic showed her first husband Romanus III Argyrus or her adopted son
Michael IV. Another theory is that these mosaics were made for an earlier
emperor and empress, with their heads changed into the present ones. "


Turkish phrase of the day:
Burada mi yasiyorsunuz? / boorada ma yashi-yorsnooze? = Do you live here?

Travel Photo: The oldest mosaic pattern in AyaSofia


The oldest part in Aya Sofia, originally uploaded by Fun Lilliy.

Aya Sofia was richly decorated with mosaics throughout the centuries. Some were religious or empresses and empress images and other parts with geometric patterns.

Turkish phrase of the day:
Tanistigima memnun oldum / tanishtima memnoon oldam = I'm pleased to meet you

Travel Photo : Aya Sofia Artistic Walls Close up

I will continue with my Aya Sofia photo series on this blog. My new upcoming site with my self hosted domain is still under construction.

This photo is a close up of the art painted on the walls and ceilings which gives you a bet of neck pain because you keep looking up.

Turkish Phrase of the day:
Tekrarlar misiniz lutfen? / yeckrarlar missiniz lootfen? = can you repeat that please?

Self hosting a blog made me cry..

I have read so much about how important it is to self host. I have been a blogger (on my personal blog) for 2 years now with blogger.com hosted by them and its so easy to use all their tools. All I have to do is copy and paste when ever I want to add a side bar or an adSense and it takes minutes. I get to enjoy blogging and just concentrate on my posts. There are many great templates that you can use. I use my flickr account to post my photos to my blog. YouTube for my videos. All I have to do is click, edit, write, post, and bam its on the web. I am NOT an HTML savy or Tech savy and I do not enjoy spending hours and hours in front of the computer not creating but trying to figure out how I can place a theme on what is now (which I already regret the 70 dollars I paid on ------ 10 dollars of it double charged for a service and till now no answer to be refunded for the double charge 2 days ago) my self hosted site that till looks like this.
The many many many hours I have spent and what looks like I will spend some more which I am not looking forward to and is not enjoyment to me. I loved blogging it was where I can express myself having forcefully learn what still I cant understand made me hate my new site already. Here I am back to my easy tech blog that I really enjoy, thinking so whats so bad about being hosted. Life is about enjoyment and I don't enjoy self hosting at all. The other thing about self hosting is that you have to put your hand in your pocket always to get this and get that.
I wanted to switch this blog to a self hosted blog but looks like with the agony that comes with self hosting I rather not suffer that much anymore and just get back to enjoy blogging at my home again blogger.com.

added:
I Finally had a breakthrough. The support group in my website hosting site helped me step by step within a reasonable time frame, Till I was able to install first WordPress properly and then the themes for wordpress on my control panel on my website host, and then applying it to WordPress site server to be able to run it. I finally found a theme that I really liked with great support from the designer too. It is functioning smoothly and I can add ( by copy and paste my html wedgites) without getting into the code. Its running like this blog a bet still some restrictions but its giving me the functions I need.

Travel Photo: Hagia Sofia series The Empress and her court


The Empress and her court, originally uploaded by Fun Lilliy.

The thron of The Empress was placed on the left side of this photo where The Loge of The Empress was.
Quoted from Wikipedia:

"From there the empress and the court-ladies would watch the proceedings down
below. A round, green stone marks the spot where the throne of the empress
stood."


Turkish Phrase of the day:
Daha yavas konusur musunuz lutfen? / daha yavash konushur moosunooz lootfen? = Can you speak more slowly please?

Travel Photo: Hagia Sofia Upper Gallery


Aya Sofia Upper Gallery, originally uploaded by Fun Lilliy.

In an effort to learn more about the sights that I have photographed. I have been reading more about the history of the palces I have seen.

I am going to share that info with you, and since I am not a historian and I use simple search engines like wikipedia. I am just going to quote them like now.

Quoted from Wikipedia:

"Upper Gallery
The upper gallery is laid out in a horseshoe shape that
encloses the nave until the apse. Several mosaics are preserved in the upper
gallery, an area traditionally reserved for the empress and her court. The
best-preserved mosaics are located in the southern part of the gallery."


Turkish Phrase of the Day:
Ne? / ne? = what?

Interior view of Aya Sofia with Islamic and Christian Elements

With The Apse mosaics showing... quoted from Wikipedia:

"Virgin and Child: this was the first of the post-iconoclastic mosaics. It was
inaugurated on 29 March 867 by Patriarch Photius and the emperors Michael III
and Basil I. This mosaic is situated in a high location on the half dome of the
apse. "
"These mosaics are believed to be a reconstruction of the mosaics of
the sixth century that were previously destroyed during the iconoclastic era.
The mosaics are set against the original golden background of the 6th
century."

The Islamic part with the two circular disks....
"New gigantic circular-framed disks were hung on columns. They were inscribed with the names of Allah, the prophet Muhammad, the first four caliphs Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and the two grandchildren of Mohammed: Hassan and Hussain, by the calligrapher Kazasker İzzed Effendi (1801–1877). "

which were placed during...
"The most famous restoration of the Hagia Sophia was ordered by
Sultan Abdülmecid and completed by eight hundred workers between 1847 and 1849,
under the supervision of the Swiss-Italian architect brothers Gaspare and
Giuseppe Fossati."


There! we both learned something.. that's why I love Wikipedia.. its actually one of my traveling tools.. to look up the place I am going to, and get an idea of where I am going.

Turkish phrase of the day:
Anliyor musunuz? / annleyor moosunooz? = Do you understand?

Guy mesmerized by The Grand Aya Sofia...

This guy is so funny… I look down from the top gallery and I see this guy just lying on the floor looking at the ceiling…

Turkish phrase of the day:
Anliyorum / annleyourum = I understand

Where are you going? Cirali?


Like all my ideas when I travel , most of the time the idea to go to a place just hits me.. some ideas of travel were always in the back my mind like wanting to go to attend new years eve in London (I just think it would be amazing don't ask me why) and some ideas like Cirali come out of no where..

I was looking into booking my trip from Jeddah to Ottawa for work. I wanted to go through Istanbul (for privet reasons) and when I am done with Ottawa heading back I wanted a week to relax.. my traveling feet to discover a new place was itching away.. I had two short trips to Istanbul and they were amazing (I will write about them in details later).. but I haven't had enough of this enchanting country yet.. its vivid with history and its mystical.. I had heard from a friend a while ago how nice Antalya was.. so I though well lets look into flights to Antalya from Istanbul.. and there it was, because I was booking early they had cheap seats back and forth.. Sold! I am going to Antalya for few days on the beach enjoying the sun would not hurt.. I wont forget the sunscreen.. I cant tan because I am a dermatologist and I know how bad it is for you.. no early wrinkles for me..


Few days later.. its time to look for a place to stay.. ahhh.. many many all inclusive resorts.. nooooo way.. boutique hotels.. not directly on the beach its in the old city part of Kaleiçi.. hmmm... but I wanted sun and beach to lie under an umbrella and be mesmerized with the turquoise Mediterranean sea.. but not in replicas of resorts that look the same anywhere in the world ( Dubai.. Sharm Al-Shaikh..) all man made cookie cut fun.. don't get me wrong.. some places which I also enjoy like Las Vegas and Orlando are like that.. but not my image of Turkey and The Turkish Riviera that is so ancient and romantic.. it has Tursus where Cleopatra first meet with Mark Antony..... No! No! No!.. look more..
To be continued...

Hagia Sofia Upper Side Gallary

Byzantine pillars with mosaics, and Ottoman-era paintings..

Photo taken in my Istanbul Trip Oct 2008

Turkish Phrase of the day:
Anlamiyorum / annlameyourum = I dont understand

Aya Sofia Minbarr Istanbul Oct 2008


Aya Sofia Istanbul Oct 2008, originally uploaded by Fun Lilliy.

Aya Sofia.. Hagia Sofia ..
has seen so much.. it was a place of worship for 1400 years till Ataturk came..
First a church by the Byzantium then a mosque by the Ottoman then a museum b Ataturk..
I have in the past placed posts about the history of Aya Sofia.. just a captivating building..

Turkish Phrase of The Day:
Biraz Turkce biliyorum/ beeraz toorkche billeyourum = I speak a little Turkish

Aya Sofya Mihrab Istanbul Oct 2008


Aya Sofya Minbarr Oct 2008, originally uploaded by Fun Lilliy.

I had started in my personal blog Fun Lilliy to try and learn Turkish for many reasons.. it was kind of like Turkish Phrase of The Day. I would show a Travel Photo of my trip in Istanbul Oct 08 and at the end of the post place The Turkish Phrase.. I am going to pick up what I started in Fun Lilliy here and every day I will post a Travel Photo I took in Turkey and a phrase at the last line.. so you will see me progress slowly in my learning a third language.

Todays phrase:
Hayir Turkce bilmiyorum /Higher toorkche billmeyourum = I don't speak Turkish

My next trip will be... Istanbul.. Ottawa.. Antalya..Cirali..

So my next trip will be for both work and then leisure..
The Route will be Jeddah ... Istanbul where I will be staying for 2 nights to rest and gather my thoughts and concentration before... Ottawa (through Frankfurt) to stay one week for work.. 
Coming back will be.. Ottawa ... Istanbul ( through Frankfurt again).. Istanbul... Antalya to stay for 4 nights.. then drive to Cirali for 4 nights between the beach and the mountines for total relaxation...
Then the final journey from Cirali .. drive back to Antalya...then to Jeddah (through Istanbul).. ha.. 
Yes that takes many many hours on the net trying to get the best deals and distributing the days...but Iv done it and its almost all ready..
There will be a lot of hours spent on planes and airports.. Many people think of airports and airplanes as a big deal to me it has become like riding the bus (because I  visited my family every year from Canada to Jeddah and of my love to travel it which means I am on my way to my next destination).. I don't feel it and I have become so familiar with many airports.. I plan my transit hours according to what is available in different airports.. this to say that this will be the first time I travel through Frankfurt airport but my parents have gone through it many time recently so I got the broad idea of how comfortable the airport facilities will be and now with everything being available on the net it makes it easier also to find out what you need to know which is a click away..

The Blue Mosque Istanbul Oct 2008

This is one of my favorite travel photo.. when ever I see it, it gives me the same peaceful feeling I had when I walked and seen that soft morning light through those windows..

Why a travel blog for Fun Lilliy?

I love traveling.. I love experiencing a new place ..  I believe it enriches the persons life and broadens their prospective regarding different cultures.. Every trip adds to who I am in some way. I have been lucky to been able to see many cities and countries till now some I have written about in my original personal blog Fun Lilliy or posted on my Fun Lilliy YouTube channel. 
Every traveler has something useful to share because when your traveling to a new place you have so many concerns that come to your mind and that’s when travel blogs come in handy. I spend myself a lot of time looking up blogs dedicated for travel and travel information. When I am looking up information regarding a certain destination I want to get right to it! get the info, see the photos, and videos then get to the next information site. That’s how the idea of this blog began to come together in my mind.. In this blog I will post my travel journey from when the idea came to birth till the moment I unpack my suit case when I come back home.. And when there are no words there will be photos and videos to talk for them selves. I love conversation and be more than happy to answer questions when I can regarding a place I visited so I will be looking forward to your comments and your own experiences as well.. I always love to hear a good travel story..

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About this blog

I have a passion for traveling and wanting to see the world.. I can spend hours on the web planning my dream vacation and looking up places that I want to go and experience their culture .. When I am actually planning a trip for leisure or for work that’s when the excitement begins and I become alive.. I have a long list of the places I want to see in my lifetime.. and I am hoping that I can fulfill that dream in my life journey.

Bare with me..

I am trying to learn Turkish one day at a time one phrase at a time..
Every day I will post a new phrase at the end of my post. Lets see how much I will learn.