I have blundered into a new plan for this year’s Images and Bloviations, which might not be a bad term for the whole system of reports back to all of you.

At the top of each day’s (or couple of day’s) reports, I’ll have some images and longish captions— mostly the kind (and amount) of copy you’d expect under a photo in a magazine.

At the bottom of all the pictures, there might be more text, social commentary, ruminations, and other kinds of reportage. . . .

So if you only have time for the images and captions, and want to see the best of what I have seen, it’s there at the top of the report, and if you want the rest of the mental meanderings, it’s at the bottom.

And I think I have failed to share this— it’s the route through Turkey.

I also have one for Crete that you’ll get in early June when I get there.


Report 3

Saturday, April 11

Went into town early again (the boat delivers us every AM at Eminonu— a major water/bus/tram/pedestrian intersection) and headed out on a city bus for the old city walls and cemeteries that lie 4 km. north west of the main attractions of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia.

We walked around up there for about an hour, taking lots of pictures.

Then we headed back on some back streets just a block south of the main (divided highway) road at the south edge of the Golden Horn.

Might as well have been in a little village in the boonies— all the charm of a very small place yet right next to modern, bustling, twenty-first century Istanbul.

We were shooting lots of kids and some great old guys and even some cops. It was the best photo day so far. Shot almost 250 images by the end of the day.

We got back to the main part of town— since it’s such a major transportation intersection and has lots of open space, it’s a real carnival space all day long: thousands of people going here and there, lots of street-food available, lots of gee-gaws being hawked. . . .

I have been looking in the souvenir shops for a small Turkish flag to put on my photo vest for this trip— you may remember that Susan, the Mad Albanian Shopping Goddess, bought me a Bulgarian Freedom Medal, and I have been wearing it ever since last spring.

But I thought a small Turkish flag would be great, so I have been looking for one. We saw a flag salesman—just some guy in the plaza with a dozen flags for sale, and we went over and I did the Tourist Pantomime Dance and he opened his wallet and gave me— and would take no money for— a patch that’s now on the photo vest. This is him.

We headed up on the tram to Topkapi Palace, where we spent much of the rest of the PM, but we ran out of gas about 4:00, after seeing most of it.

They have some pretty amazing exhibits there— the staff Moses used to part the Red Sea, some hairs from Mohammed’s beard, his tooth, and one of his turbans, Abraham’s cooking pot, Joseph’s cloak, John’s arm . . . .

So they say.

And some even seem to believe it.

There are also enough pieces of the true cross in churches across Europe to build the ark. . . . .

I shot lots and lots of close-ups of flowers up there—what I call Cleveland pictures.

After the first serious photography trek around Europe in 2002, I was showing the best images, mostly close-ups of flowers, to people at work.

They said I could have just gone to Cleveland and taken pictures of the flowers in the gardens there.

So I shot lots of Cleveland pictures today. Here are a couple of the best.

Originally written for Two Minutes in Turkey

posts by Robert