Saturday, February 23, 2019

Mooses in Moria!

Istanbul, Turkey

Hidden under the city of Istanbul are ancient cisterns that once supplied the city with water. 

The Basilica Cistern, is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, Turkey. The cistern, located 150 metres southwest of the Hagia Sophia on the historical peninsula of Sarayburnu, was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Wikipedia

"...this big underground water reservoir is called as 'Yerebata"n Cistern' among the public because of the underground marble columns. As there used to be a basilica in the place of the cistern, it is also called the Basilica Cistern."

(informational plaque on the site)

The pillars are made from various kinds of marble. In 1985, the city began restoration of the cistern and in 1987, they opened it up for people to view.


"As different from the other columns, Columns of Tear or Crying Columns, have an appearance as if it is crying since it is wet.

"It is reported that it was erected in memorial of the slaves who died during the construction of the Great Basilica."


At the very end of the cistern are two Medusa heads. 

"Two Medusa heads, which are used as supports under the two columns at the northwest edge of the cistern, are the great work of art from the Roman period. What attracts most attention from the visitors is that the structure from which the Medusa heads have been taken is unknown. The researchers ofthen consider that it has been brought for being used as supports to the column at the time of the construction of the cistern."
(Informational plaque)

Moria Dwarrowdelf, er, Basilica Cistern
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Saturday, February 9, 2019

We Go on Safari!


February 3rd

We made it to Johannesburg, South Africa! And have been here a week.
Our friend, Carina, took us on a mini-safari at the Lion Park. It was a lot of fun, and we even got to pet baby lions!

Watch the Safari 360 Video:

(360 video, use mouse to move picture)


Of course, we'd never had a chance to pet baby lions before. They were so cute! (Though their teeth were very big...). We were told not to touch their head or their tails. Easy enough. The lions were very well behaved, though one did bite one girl's shoe (here in the video). Playful, like a cat!

(360 video, use mouse to move picture)


We will take the overnight Sleeper train to Cape Town, South Africa.
More adventures await!