La Vie en Turquoise

January 31, 2014

Back with you , my friends, after a demanding month of January. I had very little time to write and download more pictures from my stay in Istanbul. When I did so, I realized there was a lot of turquoise color in them. You surely have heard this lovely song “La Vie en Rose” (seeing life through rose-colored glasses),  so why not seeing “La Vie en Turquoise”  in some streets of Istanbul, Turkey ?

Turquoise, the blue cousin to lapis lazuli, has been known and valued for thousands of years. The early mines in Sinai, Egypt, were already worked out in 2000 B.C. Today the best quality Turquoise is found in Iran. Turquoise was first sent to Europe through Turkey, hence its name, which means “Turkish” in French (turc  or turque).

Turquoise has long been appreciated as a holy stone, a good-luck-charm or a talisman. It is believed to promote good fortune, happiness, and long life.

DSCN1021Had this dark roller-blind been up, I am sure the shop behind it would have looked like an Ali Baba’s Cave full of semi-precious stones and all kinds of jewels.

DSCN1076A quiet back street, away from the touristic main sites. This luminous quilt, a flash of turquoise, was hanging in front of an old shop.

mosaics You often get surprised whether you look up or down. Here, an artistic minded mason had decided to embellish the pavement in inserting typical Turkish  tiles… or what was left of them. Isn’t it charming ?

turquoiseI stood a long time there. In front of the shop various jewels decorated the wall. Turquoise necklaces of all sizes, shapes and lengths. On the right hand side,  several “nazar” were displayed (Turkish: bazar boncuğu) . A nazar is an eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye,  they are seen and sold all over the city.

reflectionsColourful reflections. Shawls, fabrics, bags, cushions, carpets highlighted the wooden walls of an old Ottoman house. The sign in Spanish says “Good quality, pretty and cheap” !

Musée de l'IslamTurquoise and golden shades  are engraved in the Ma’mun globe (a Caliph who reigned from 198-218 H./813-833 CE.) in front of the entrance of the Istanbul Museum for History of Science in Islam. A great achievement. The map on this globe displays, with surprising accuracy, the geography of the part of the world which was known at that time.

Maybe your weekend is in the grey shades ? or all white with so much snow ? or golden with a hot sun ? blue, if you live near the sea ? No matter the color you are living in, here is Edith Piaf singing for you “La Vie en Rose”.  I hope you will enjoy it.

Happy weekend to you 🙂

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22 Responses to “La Vie en Turquoise”

  1. Exquiste colors and lovely photos. Interesting pics of Turkey. I enjoyed this post very much.

  2. sybil said

    I thought I knew Edith Piaf but was surprised by the “trill” in her voice … I ended up reading her Wiki post and was interested to learn that she discovered Yves Montand !

    Wow … I AM easily distracted !

    The the turquoise themed pics.

  3. shoreacres said

    Turquoise is a favorite stone, and you’ve shown some beautiful examples here. I liked the veined or mottled most, and the necklace at the bottom of the photo is the one I would have chosen, perhaps because it most closely resembles the Navajo turquoise I know.

    I didn’t know the origin of the stone’s name, or its history in Iran. This site about Navajo turquoise does acknowledge the importance of Iran in the trade.

    And my – what’s not to like about a selection from Edith Piaf? She’s a gem herself – thanks for adding her to my afternoon.

    I was surprised by the sign in Spanish. Perhaps Istanbul is a crossroads, with visitors from many countries? Distances in Europe always are shorter than I first remember. From London to Paris is the same distance as from my house to my friend’s home in the Texas Hill Country!

    • I am glad you liked this “turquoise post”. The veined stone is particularly attractive, each stone being different. I did not know about the Navajo turquoise although I saw such jewels in various places in the States. Interesting site you mentioned, thanks.
      Istanbul is a crossroads, as you mention, with many foreigners visiting or living in this large city. I was also surprised at the sign in Spanish but then a few streets further I went into a restaurant where a Dutch lady organized cooking courses (Turkish of course and so delicious !). Next door a sign announced an “Aussie coffee-house”. Crossroads since many centuries as it is now.
      Thank you for your visit, Linda.

  4. Marie said

    A lovely adventure! Turquoise…my favorite color/ jewelry. I learned something new about turquoise. I did not know that there was turquoise in Iran. Fascinating. La Vie en rose is such a pretty classic song. Have a great day! xoxo

    • Hello Marie, what a pleasure and coincidence ! Just wrote to you yesterday telling you about this post and your favorite color. I am very glad you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful new year xoxo

  5. Sartenada said

    Bonjour Isa.

    Excellente sélection de photos présentant la couleur bleu turquoise. Il y avait quelques photos avec un grand intérêt pour moi, comme la photo de perles. Bien entendu. 🙂

    Je te souhaité juin agréable soirée.

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  7. Leah said

    lovely photos – i especially like the one of bits of tile embedded in the sidewalk. you are right that there are often some very surprising and interesting things when one bothers to look down.

    • Hello Leah and thank you for visiting, commenting. You know, looking down on Istanbul’s footpaths is not difficult because the pavements are so irregular and capricious that you just have to look where you put your feet… in case you don’t want to fall or twist an ankle. But never mind, the city is Beautiful !

  8. Janice said

    Bonjour chère Isa,
    Merci pour ces jolies photos. On m’a donné un ‘nazar’ quand j’ai acheté un tapis à Istanbul. Il est exactement comme ceux dans ta photo.
    Et bien sûr, je connais bien la chanson ‘La vie en rose’. Je l’ai chanté plusieurs fois – et en plus de l’interpretation par Edith Piaf, j’aime beaucoup celles par Louis Armstrong et Grace Jones. Tu les connais?
    J’espère que tout va bien.
    Bisous,
    Janice.

    • Bonjour ma chère Janice, merci de ta visite toujours très appréciée. Oui, je connais les versions que tu mentionnes de “La Vie en Rose”, “Satchmo”‘s is my favourite.
      Je vais bien et résiste aux microbes autour de moi, jusqu’à présent ! Beaucoup de malades de saison dans la famille. Vivement le printemps !
      J’espère que le mauvais temps en GB ne t’affecte pas ? C’est terrible les images qui nous sont montrées.
      Une bonne journée, Janice et merci encore.

  9. Roberta said

    I did not know that about turquoise. Thank you for passing this information along..

  10. Truels said

    A lovely post, Isa!
    And very interesting for me too:
    I visited Istanbul last year ( and might post some photos from there this year!) – my daughter´s boyfriend comes from Turkey, and they both lived and studied there last year.

    • Thanks Truels. It is the second time I visited Istanbul, still enchanted by this city. I tried to look differently at its beauty this time, in the side streets, some aspects I had overlooked three years ago. Very enjoyable indeed.

  11. fanfoulon said

    Je suis retournée sur ton blog : je ne sais pas quelle photo, quel thème commenter ! Tout est si beau, si inspiré, si poétique et évocateur ! Comment se fait-il que je n’y pense pas plus souvent ? Des éclats de beauté qui suffisent à rendre la vie plus belle et les journées plus roses, comme dans cette magnifique vidéo de Piaf, la sublime, – eh oui, encore :-). Merci d’avoir fait que cette journée particulière de Vendredi Saint où, dehors, tout est comme il se doit en un tel jour, sans lumière et un peu triste, soit malgré tout riante et lumineuse!
    With love.

    • Quelle belle surprise de te retrouver ici, fanfoulon ! J’en suis toute bleue – turquoise 😉 Vendredi était gris, c’est vrai et il suffit parfois d’une image, une chanson, quelques mots qui changent le paysage. Gros becs.

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