Field of Science

Traveling: Israel and Istanbul

I just returned from the 30th Jerusalem Winter School in Theoretical Physics. It was an intensive school focusing on modern cosmology and galaxy formation with lectures from experts in the field. You can watch the lectures on online here and you can find the slides of the lectures here. In addition to just attending lectures in a boring conference room I of course got out and saw some sights in Israel like the old city of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and Masada. Since I was in the region I also struck out to Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul is a place I have always wanted to see for the history, culture, and people. It was a long and winding trip and to sum it all up here are a few pictures. 
 The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. 
Candles being lit in a church.
The ubiquitous surveillance camera and the old city at sunset.
View of a gate with of Jerusalem city walls in background.
Views of Jerusalem city walls through a gate.
An old column outside Mary's tomb.
The Hagia Sofia in Istanbul.  Galata tower at night.
The Nusretiye Mosque near the Istanbul Modern Art Museum.
A crescent moon over what I think is the Nuruosmaniye Mosque. The crescent moon is one the symbols of Turkey.
Alexander the Great as depicted on Alexander's Sarcophagus which is actually not his Sarcophagus but probably that of some governor of Sidon.
The Basilica Cistern is a 6th century Byzantine construction near the Hagia Sofia that held water for the city. It is quite eerie.
It is a long tradition to respect and live with animals in Istanbul. Beautiful cats and dogs wander throughout Istanbul. They are wild and may go where they want, but they are offered food and shelter so often stay near areas that are kind to them. It is kind of wonderful.
A shot from inside the Hagia Sofia taken during sunset.
A picture of yours truly inside the Hagia Sofia.