above Cappadocia


Chora Church, Istanbul


Nemrut Dagi


Gozleme! mmmmm . . .


Spice Bazaar, Urfu 


Turkey is the only country that bridges two continents.  But Istanbul
to the Western border accounts for a part of the European side.  The rest of
Turkey, the Asian side, is often referred to as Anatolia.  Istanbul is a port city and its skyline
of mosques and minarets is spectacular.  (It's easy to understand how a city like this could leave 
such a lasting impression upon my father when he cruised the Mediterranean via freighter ship several 
years ago. ) 

And just like Istanbul, Anatolia offers plenty of its share of sites and natural wonders.  
Far too many to take in with my only three weeks to travel.

This year (2008) Turkey is experiencing a prolonged Winter.  At the start of the tourism season, many of the
sites I visited were still thawing out.  (It's always a struggle to balance the weather and photo opportunities
with no tourists in them.) 

The last day of my trip coincided with Obama's visit to Istanbul.  I figured I had
a few hours before I had to leave for the airport so I sat in the hotel's roof top restaurant enjoying a
leisurely breakfast and the spectacular view of the Aya Sophia and Blue Mosque.  

But all that changed 
when two Turkish sharp shooters appeared to take their positions on the roof terrace.  I decided to high
tail it to the airport early, and just as I was walking out the door of the hotel to catch a cab to the airport, 
the police were blocking off the streets and walkways leading to the center of town.