Tuesday, 9 October
Today was packing day for our side trip. As much as I like to travel, that’s how much I hate packing — and I don’t use that “h” word lightly. What to do? Delay the chore, of course. So, off I went for a long walk along Kordon, the waterfront promenade. When I was growing up, the promenade consisted of a road with sidewalks on either side. Now, with land re-claimed from the bay, the water-side sidewalk has been replaced with a wide strip. There’s a jogging path, grassy areas, and benches for people to sit and while away the time, watching the ferries criss-crossing the bay.
I’ve yet to find out the name of this modern sculpture on Kordon.
Cumhurİyet Ağacı Anıtı (Republic Tree Monument) was Installed in 2003 in the Gündoğdu
area of the Kordon; it commemorates the 80th anniversary of Turkey becoming a republic.
I was killing time with this stroll before joining up with Aylin to visit a museum, so I kept up a good pace to get some exercise value from the walk. I didn’t stop to take many pictures, but I did dally a bit at a street exhibit featuring the National Library. Located in the center of the city, the library opened to the public in 1912 and has been serving readers since.
Water color rendition (by Çetİn Atacan) of the National Library (right),
and the adjoining building, which was once a movie theater and is now used
for performances by the İzmİr State Opera & Ballet.
Collage of archival photos from the exhibit panels.
Clockwise from top left: The catalogs; the library in 1938; glimpse of the interior from the
second floor; the mobile library in 1959; the rare book collection; the reading room.
I’d been unable to fit the Maske Müzesi (Mask Museum) into my schedule last year, so I was especially glad that Aylin took me there today. This is a boutique museum established in a restored house in Alsancak. Opened to the public in May 2011, it is one of several small museums operated by the city’s Konak Municipality. I didn’t know what to expect before our visit, but came away feeling that the 4TL (about $2.25) admission was worth it.
The museum is small — just four rooms on two floors. On the first floor are masks from countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Congo, Kenya, and Australia … to name a few. All are donations from private collections. Upstairs are masks carved by a Turkish artist using the unusual medium of squid skulls (I featured one of these masks in a teaser post). There’s also a small collection of death masks.
A Beautiful copper display frame sets off a collection of masks from Africa.
Left to right: Bali, Indonesia; Congo; and Java, Indonesia.
Khon Masks are used in Thailand during the Phi Ta Khon festival;
they symbolize the last phase of life before Buddha reaches Nirvana.
Spotted Aborigine Masks from Northern Australia.
Three-dimensional masks invite visitors to take the stairs up to the second floor.
Erdoğan Aşıcı Masks; carved from squid skulls, a fragile yet soft medium that
lends itself well to being worked with sharp tools.
Death masks, initially made to preserve the image of a person as a memorial,
later came to be used for artistic and scientific purposes.
On our way back home, Aylin and I stopped by to check out the nearby Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. The grounds were being used as a makeshift parking lot, and the church was locked, but the caretaker let us in. It wasn’t until later that I learned photography was not allowed. Why? I don’t know since there wasn’t a service in progress. Anyway, here are a few of the shots I took; sorry I have no info on the church itself.
After this brief detour, we picked up mom from the apartment and went to a nearby restaurant for lunch. The food was OK, but I don’t think any of us were particularly impressed with the meal we had at Börrek … maybe they were having an off day!
And then it was back to the apartment where my suitcase was waiting to be packed; tomorrow mom and I are off on our short side trip.
P.S. If you’d like to see more of the masks, click here to go to my online gallery.