Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Cure Thyself

Istanbul was brilliant.

It's one of my favourite places as it forms a "bridge" between Europe and the Middle East.

Stomped through by many different civilisations, it now stands as a mix of many cultures.

Irrespective of your thoughts about organised religions, you can't help but marvel at the effort that man makes in building great buildings in honour to his creator.

No visit to Istanbul would be complete without a visit to the Blue Mosque (one of only two mosques that, at the time of building, had as many minarets as the mosque in Mecca - six).

This is Hagia Sophia, built as a church, converted to a mosque and now a museum.

Nor would a visit be complete without a walk through the alleged 1200 shops of the Grand Bazaar with a little friendly haggling for some unique Turkish craftwork.

On the way down the Turkish coast, we anchored off a little fishing village for a day and took the launch ashore. We managed to get to Pergamon, which although now in Turkey, used to be a Greek city (moving borders you see).

Below is a photograph of the Asclepieion or healing temple. It was the forerunner of modern hospitals dating back over 2000 years. 

However, unlike modern hospitals, they did not let you in, if you looked terminal.

Dying patients made their success statistics look a bit sick !! -

mmm well, maybe not that different then ?

If you were unfortunate enough to die in their care, they apparently had a habit of disposing of the body when nobody was looking.

"Nurse, nurse, where is Mr.Papadopoulos - he looked very sick when I did my rounds yesterday ?"

"He checked out, Doctor - thought he had left his back door unlocked or something"

"Oh well, another success for the medical staff - at least he walked out himself"

I wonder if the medical students could see the operation from up there ? 

"Speak up, did you say gut or cut ?"

In the words of the infamous Monty Python, "and now for something completely different".

From Ancient Greece to Art Deco.

This is the ships atrium - a Latin word, not a Greek one.



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