Monday, May 21, 2012

The Hippodrome

This morning, up early and out to learn about the city. On the ancient Hippodrome, the one-time sports center of the city, only a few monuments remain—but these include an obelisk once covered with silver, which was stripped down by the Christian occupiers during the 4th Crusade and melted into coin. Suleiman stressed that this 57 years occupation, the "sack of Constantinople," the city's population dropped from about 1 million, to around 75 thousand.

And another obelisk was “borrowed” from Egypt long ago, where it lay on the ground for 9 months before they figured out how to stand it up again in one piece.

One North Carolina couple was ecstatic to see this, their Egypt trip last year having been canceled, and this year travel in Egypt would have been too limited to be worth their time. Meanwhile, Stephen tried to make a local friend (a distressing imbalance of cats and dogs in this place, where cats seem more than ever self-assured and annoyingly smug)...

While others must have been gravely disappointed by the whole set-up...

Game over.  On to the Blue Mosque.

later, bob

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