20 May 2012

Behind the T-walls: RRB Turkish Food

With my trip coming to a close, I headed back to Istanbul. Here's a recap of all the delicious foods I enjoyed! It's probably also how I gained five pounds on vacation (in spite of my aforementioned stomach flu), too!

'dolma' Balkava

Kome with pecan

Kome with walnut


Anatolian Manti

Chocolate lava cake with vanilla dondurma

Fresh Pomegranite Juice with a side of sleazy guy hitting on me.

Kebab with spicy red sauce

This was not a food i enjoyed, but sheep's heads were readily available in every market:


Half sahlep, half mocha:

Meat-filled grilled bread:

19 May 2012

Behind the T-walls: Roma R&R part 3

I needed to get this last draft finished, because Andrea's posting about her trips to Tunisia and Lebanon and the UK, and I haven't posted anything about my trips to Morocco and Babylon yet! I'm still stuck in March! So here's a final recap of my pictures from Rome!

This post kind of got away from me, what with all the pictures. I guess I could have split it into two, but nevermind that. Just read, watch the video (below), and enjoy!

This is the square where they dropped us off after the cooking class. I just took off on foot and and decided to see what there was to see!

The Church of the Four Fountains:

There's a church near the Presidential Palace, Quirinale. Of course I went inside:

Walking from the Quirinale to Piazza Barbero:

Stumbling upon (but no ON) the Spanish Steps, and the Trinità dei Monti church as the sun was starting to set:

I know it's probably a little intrusive, but I really couldn't resist the composition here. I probably watched these young lovers for 10 minutes, maybe it's because I felt so lonely in the eternal city, it was nice to see some affection there.

The next day, I got up early. I couldn't wait to get to Mass at the Vatican! Greeted by the Shepard. Seriously, after months of not having access to Mass (because I'm in Iraq), it felt like coming home. This may be the biggest church in the world, but I felt completely at peace here.

Peter receiving the "keys" from Jesus.

The Pieta.

The only black marble statue in the Vatican - Saint Peter and the Keys to Jesus' Church.

Saint Helene

Saint Andrew

Saint Veronica

Click me! This is a panorama of one of the doors to the Vatican showing something like the 12 contortions of prayer of a saint, or something like that...

After confession, adoration, and Mass, I decided to take a tour of the Dome.
I took the elevator most of the way up to this point, and then I walked up a bit farther. I got to see the underside of the dome pretty closely, and also the mosaics on the sides of the wall.

This was before I realized the horror that was to come. After this I went up the stairs I've ever seen in my entire life (I don't think Andrea could have done it, seriously). Spiral, narrow passage (barely enough room for one person, and hardly enough space for my tiny feet), and NO HANDRAIL. Also? You can't turn back if you get too scared because there is an army of people behind you! At the last part, all that there was was a rope hanging from the ceiling in case  you needed to hold on. I think they should hand out beatification to anyone to makes it up there, cause seriously...seriously, I was terrified.

Unfortunately, you don't get to be called "blessed" after making the trip, but you are given a view like this: 

And this! 

Going down was not nearly as scary as going up. I don't know why they couldn't just let you go up and down the good, easy stairs. Anyway, on the down, I stopped to look again at Saint Peter again:

Then, as you leave the Vatican area (on the way to the Castel Sant'Angelo) I passed this statue of the story of Saint Catherine of Siena

Once on the Angels Bridge, at the base of the fortress, I took time to listen to some street performers too!

These guys were great! Have a listen (FYI Andrea, they're playing Für Elise, in case you'd rather pass) :

From the bridge, I was on the lookout for a chocolate shop I'd heard about. I am so glad I can read a map! Unfortunately, the shop wasn't there anymore, so I just spent time being touristy:


The Pantheon, of course.

Then, continuing to Piazza Navona, where I enjoyed the fountains there: 

I finished with a late, leisurely lunch, and then walked back to my hotel. I had a flight the next morning! I can't wait to go back to Italy!