Norm Lambert's Personal Website and Web Programming Sandbox

Picture of the acropolis
 Note from Norm:  This page and many other pages on this site contain picture thumbnails. Thumbnails are smaller versions of larger pictures.  Thumbnails are used to speed the loading of a web page.  To view the larger version of these thumbnails, simply left click the thumbnails the same way that you would click any other link.  The larger version of the picture will then load.
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More view across the Bosphorus. Istanbul is the only city in the world that is half in Europe and half in Asia.  The Bosphorus is the divide between the two

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This is a view from the Bosphorus looking back at the city.  Again, look at all the mosques!
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I like the Istanbul Hilton.  It has a warm staff that makes you feel right at home.  But be sure you get a view of the Bosphorus.  You need to get away from the hustle an bustle of this very busy city, and the view from you balcony of the Bosphorusis a great way to relax.
Mvc-718s.jpg (192969 bytes)The ceiling of Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616. It is one of  Istanbul's most famous landmark. It is special to me a different reason.   I arrived in Istanbul after flying all night.  I have a terrible case of jet lag, but here I am inside the Blue Mosque at about 10 AM Istanbul time (3 AM my home time). I was taking these pictures of the inside of the mosque.  
Mvc-007s.jpg (117034 bytes)The mosques that are lit at night are even more beautiful by night than by day.  Nothing interests me more than unique buildings and these mosques peak my interest.
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I could not possibly think about Istanbul without thinking of pictures of like this.  A very crowded old city with mosques everywhere!
Mvc-026s.jpg (120934 bytes)This is not a picture of anything special.  I thought the picture made good use of the buildings interesting lighting.  Do you know who fellow hanging on the side of the building is? The figure is Mustafa Kermal Pasa (1881-1938).  Better known as Ataturk or "father of the Turks". He is highly regarded, even revered, by many if not most of the Turkish people. 
Mvc-712s.jpg (195895 bytes) Well, here I am in the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) with  a couple dozen children in the 10-14 range who who become fascinated with my digital camera and what I was doing. I spent some timeMvc-719s.jpg (201042 bytes) trying to explain to them what I am doing, but they don't speak English, and I don't speak Turkish.  Anyway, I had a great time and I think they did too.  It made me feel instantly at home and accepted by the Turkish people.
mvc-861s.jpg (165066 bytes)This is the Fountain of Ahmet III. It was built in 1728.  It is perhaps the most beautiful fountain in Istanbul. 
Mvc-867s.jpg (209588 bytes)"Sorry we are open" signs are found throughout Istanbul. I guess it translates unusually to English .
mvc-862s.jpg (131218 bytes)Another angle of Sophia.
Mvc-863s.jpg (160214 bytes)The Hagia Sophia. Built in the late 7th or early 8th century as Cathedral.  It was converted to a mosque in 15th Century.
mvc-884s.jpg (154024 bytes)The Basilica Cistern. It was built in 532 AD with a major renovation in 1987.  It is very vast.  I do not have any official information on how many gallons it held.   I have worked on more water storage tank restoration, and repairs than I can count.  I am sad to say that this was not one of projects.  Oh, this is one of the heads of Medusa.  This one is placed upside down under a pillar supporting the roof of this underground structure.
mvc-875s.jpg (156454 bytes)Based on other similar structures that I have worked on I would place it at about six million gallons plus or minus.  Does anyone know for sure?  If you do please email me the information to:
Mvc-873s.jpg (96323 bytes)I have worked with a lot of tank designers through the years.  My job and theirs was to make the structure last as long as (reasonably) possible.  I spent a lot of time studying this design, because we all of a lot to learn from this very successful design.
mvc-885s.jpg (184107 bytes)Here is Medusa's other head that is bearing the weight of the next pillar.  So what is she still smiling about?
The cistern was used in the James Bond film From Russia with Love.
mvc-001s.jpg (146335 bytes)The cistern goes on, and on.  They play music that sets in there that really sets the mood.  I have visited many cities, with many structures that defy description.  But this was a place I did not want to leave.  I take great pride in my building craftsmanship.  But here was craftsmanship which goes back nearly 1,500 years.  Nearly 1,000 years before Columbus sailed to America, these craftsman were building this amazing structure.  Feeling their work, as I ran my hands over the columns and stones, was an experience that I cannot express in words.
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More Blue Mosque.

I will shut up and let you  enjoy the rest of these pictures in peace!

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The entrance to the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul