Instagram Update: The Best of February

Instagram Update: Best of February
Posted by on March 1, 2015

Instagram Update:
The Best of February

Compared to December and January, February has been strangely quite for me. In fact I’ve been in Bishkek, as in haven’t left the limits of the city, for over a month and a half now! All those trip to Turkey and India and Kazakhstan caught up with me, I suppose, and then I do need to work every once in a while as well. All of the photos I posted on my Instagram this month, then, were old favorites – many of them celebrating the beauty of Kyrgyz winter that I can see to the south of town from my apartment window each morning.

One shot, though, stands apart from the others: the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. February 1st marked the 80th anniversary of the Hagia Sophia’s conversion to a public museum, and though I unfortunately wasn’t in Istanbul to celebrate the moment I’ve been there so many times by now that I can easily picture they way it would have been: soft afternoon light streaming through the windows in the vaulted room to illuminate the countless historical artifacts inside.

Happy #anniversary ! Today, Feb 1, marks 80 years since the #HagiaSophia in #Istanbul was declared a secular museum open to all visitors and beyond the realm of religious activity. This building, originally constructed as the world’s largest #Cathedral , is fantastic and beautiful from an #architecture standpoint. But what really sets it apart is the way that #Christian iconography interplays with that of #Islam throughout the space. Pictures here, a roundel with #Arabic #Calligraphy stands over the private prayer space of the #Ottoman sultans while high above in the apse #Byzantine frescos of the #VirginMary and #Jesus look on. The entire Hagia Sophia is full of this dichotomy, equal parts pretty and photogenic and historically interesting. Even after what must be 10 or 15 visits by now, I still look forward to going again. #Travelgram #Travel #Turkey #Istanbuldayasam #IstanbulLife #ayasofya #Sultanahmet #wanderlust #türkiye #mosque #history #Fatih #DSLR #Religion

A photo posted by Stephen Lioy (@slioy) on

Aside from that shot, my Instagram feed was full of shots from Kyrgyz winter – some from camping and ski trips in years past like 2014’s first trip to ZiL Ski Base or a birthday hike to the Kol-Tor Lake high up in Kegeti Canyon. Others go even further back, including a photo I took on one of my first wintery camping experiences in Ala-Archa in May of 2013 when I’d just returned to Kyrgyzstan to properly settle down for a while.

A little more recent were a few photos from a post-Thanksgiving camping trip from last November when I decided it was time to finally man up and camp in the snow for a weekend to see how it went. It was fantastic, and while this winter is nearly over (and indeed I’ll be leaving Central Asia next week to head to warmer climates for a few months of work) I definitely plan to get stuck in next winter with even more camping and skiing and snowshoeing trips in the region.

Finally, to finish things off, February 23rd’s ‘Defenders of the Fatherland’ holiday. This year’s was heavy on the ‘Happy Holiday!’ if a bit light on the parades through the center of town, but hopefully next time will be as grand (and photogenic!) as the event was last year.

Want more? Make sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Stephen+, and of course Instagram. I’m headed next to the United Arab Emirates, then on to Nepal, Malaysia, and Bali; so there’s much more to come over the next few months!

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One Response to Instagram Update: The Best of February

  1. Mom

    It looks way to cold but so beautiful!!

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