TURKEY - The crossroad of history
Turkey occupies the land once called Anatolia . the location of ancient Troy, Byzantium, the empires of the Medes, Hittites, Persians, Romans, and Ottomans. This history is everywhere apparent in a beautiful country with so much to see and do. Not to mention a delicious cuisine.
Istanbul was once Byzantium and renamed Constantinople after the Roman emperor Constantine, then Istanbul by the Turks. Its location on the Bosphorus, the narrow straight providing a link between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, has made it a historic hub of trade and the gateway to Asia.
Historic buidlings. Istanbul abounds in historic structures such as the ancient Hagia Sophia (left) and the Blue Mosque (right) which have survived the centuries.
Hagia Sofia. The Hagia Sofia was originally a Christian Cathedral and the Christian images land decorating its interior have been revealed from under later coverup.
The Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque is a Muslim temple that shuns imagery and instead using rich and complex patterns to decorate its interior.
Topkapi Palace. Another attraction is the Topkapi Palace with it beautiful buildings, lavishly decorated interior, museum, and beautiful grounds.
The Grand Bazaar. Another attraction not to miss is the huge and ancient Grand Bazaar, that reflects Istanbul's role as a crossroads for international trade for centuries.
Many other sites to visit. There are many other sites to visit in Istanbul including the ancient underground reservoir, and the Ciragan Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus that is now the exquisite Ciragan Palace Hotel.
Ephesus is among the most extensive and best preserved Roman ruins sites in the world.
On our Windstar cruise we were treated to an evening to our small group of music an dinner amidst the ruins.
Petra is the site of ancient ruins dating back to 300 BCE. There you can have tea and Turkish snacks at cozy carpeted eateries under tents.
Driving down the coast we visited the lovely mountain town of Srince and enjoyed a pretty and rustic hotel.
Along with two other couples, we chartered a Gulet to cruise the Lycian Coast. This 99 foot beautiful craft used sails or motors as needed. We visited many islands, secluded beaches, tiny coastal towns, and sites of ancient ruins. We also luxuriated on the ship.