Sunsets and Trains

It’s been freezing cold the last few weeks, but at least the days have been getting slightly longer, meaning I get to catch a little sunset on the way home from work instead of looking at the dark! Here’s a picture I took today, didn’t quite capture the spectrum of colours I wanted it to show, but it still shoes a pretty blue sky!

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Harlequin Oddities Found About Town: The Train in the Wall

So I saw this a few days ago, it’s not quite Harry Potter’s platform 9¾ but it’s Hackney’s equivalent! I thought this was pretty cool, a train embedded in a wall high up, right next to a bridge leading to an actual train station. The people on the streets were busy ignoring it when they walked past, but they still managed to notice me stop and take a photo of it!

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Honeymoon Travels: The Basilica Cistern

Once of the landmarks we visited while in Turkey was the Basicila Cistern, which is one of the biggest ancient storage units underground the city of Istanbul which was designed to hold water. It was surprisingly busy going in, but once we got in, we could see a huge underground cavern which would have plenty of space to hold visitors.

It was quite dim in the cistern, so I wasn’t able to take clear pictures with my camera and had to use my mobile camera, but the view was pretty spectacular and there was a very eerie, mysterious atmosphere to the place.

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The most striking part of the cistern and its pillars were two Medusa heads which were carved into the bottom of two pillars – one was upside down, and one was placed on its side, apparently, deliberately so. There’s a lot of ideas why this was done, but no one really knows for certain. I noticed a lot of Medusa motifs around this city; restaurants, shops, artwork and symbols in a lot of discreet places, which I thought was an interesting link to Greek mythology, and probably points to the diverse history of traders and inhabitants of Istanbul over the  last few centuries.

It was fun to see another side to Istanbul, the quiet, atmospheric and mysterious caverns which gave tourists a chance to wander around and enjoy some peace. There was also an opportunity to dress up in traditional Turkish costumes and take photographs in a photo booth on the side, which looked fun, although we didn’t do this because it was busy and I was a little embarassed!

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