Chora Church, Istanbul
Gozleme! mmmmm . . .
Spice Bazaar, Urfu
Turkey is the only country that bridges two continents.
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.