Thursday, November 13, 2008

Water for Constantinople

Belgrade Forest (Belgrad Ormani) is amazing because it is so close to the crowded streets and busy traffic of Istanbul but is so green and fresh and, well, it's a forest. It was fairly crowded around the main picnic area where there are also a couple of restaurants, but once we started walking it was so quiet and peaceful. We saw many people carrying huge bags of mushrooms they had picked - but we weren't game. I remember reading somewhere - maybe in the book A Year in Provenceabout places where you could take the mushrooms you had picked to be checked to make sure they weren't poisonous. I wish they had that here. Am I being too cautious??

Because the paths were rough and Yashar was still sleeping when we arrived we stopped off at the picnic area for some rice pudding - best in warm weather, but always a favourite of mine!

The forest was part of the setting for the water supply system for the Byzantines and Ottomans who used aqueduct bridges to supply water to Constantinople. Parts of the bridges are still standing like this one we drove under on the way to the forest. History really does permeate everyday life here - it's so easy to forget how rich and interesting the history is when you drive under it and walk past parts of it every day.

Yashar loved looking at all the Autumn leaves and the lake and touching the bark of the trees. We loved it too - a little bit of stillness to take back to Istanbul.

1 comment:

Simple Answer said...

How gorgeous! And I second the rice pudding comment!