Useful little donkeys, wildflowers beneath olive orchards, roses at the end of vineyard rows, these are snapped through the bus or car window with our cameras set to “action” or “sport” mode. The picture quality is not always sharp, but it helps capture the flavor of what we see. Other images remain in our mind’s eye, influencing our total picture of the country.
At the end of the day we pass a man walking home with his donkey loaded with sticks for the fire that heats his home. (Please click on the pictures to enlarge them.) More
It is snowing and blowing this afternoon. Christmas music is playing while I wrap presents on the ironing board. I found an apple pie in the freezer and popped it in the oven so the house is filled with the aroma of apple pie baking. The oven has warmed the kitchen, normally cold when winter’s east wind blows. My world is cozy and peaceful this afternoon. More
Let’s face it, we look like tourists. Del wears a camera strapped to his chest, and I wear a bright blue jacket while everyone else is wearing black. In old Istanbul this means we couldn’t stop to look in shop windows at rugs or tiles without a shop keeper inviting us in. They were polite, but we felt pressured and would walk away. More
Strong, thick, pungent and small — that’s a Turkish coffee! It’s about ¼ cup of dark brown liquid in a small white cup, plus the sludge at the bottom. There’s a lot of caffeine in that little cup, though, quite a bit like an espresso, but it smelled stronger to me. All I did was smell it; that was enough! More
Iznik tiles of blue and white patterns were made in the 16th and 17th centuries in Iznik, near Nicea, Turkey. Green, turquoise, yellow and red colors were added as skill and techniques developed. Whole walls are covered with a wide variety of plant patterns, especially tulips, geraniums and vegetation. No images of people are allowed in the mosques. More
As we eat breakfast from our hotel’s fourth-floor rooftop restaurant, we watch freighters passing north and south on their way between the Aegean and Black Seas. A fleet of 14 small fishing boats is anchored just out of the shipping channel in pale yellow water from the November morning sun.
The Blue Mosque dominates the sky to our right with its giant dome and six tall minarets. It is just two blocks up the hill from us and can be seen by those on the water and by those on the Asian shore opposite us. What a way to start the day! More
The November sun was setting at 4:45 as we circled the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, waiting to land. By the time we left the airport in our yellow taxi at 6:30, the rush hour traffic was busy.
In the airport we had purchased our visas for Turkey with $20 U.S. cash, visited the ATM to get Turkish Lira [$0.55 buys 1 TL] and talked to the Concierge desk about taxis. More
Editor’s note: Today we welcome a new travel blogger, Evelyn Weliver, of Interlochen. Find out more about Evelyn on our “About Our Bloggers” page »
Istanbul, what awaits us? Romantic skyline, the Blue Mosque with its blue Iznik tiles, ferry rides on the Bosphorus water that connects to the Black Sea, The Grand Bazaar, spice market, the Janissary or Ottoman Military Band, the different food and people … we shall see. More