Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia dominates Sultanahmet Square. Istanbul has many wondrous sights but it's hard to conceive anything more magnificent, more grand, or more fabled than Hagia Sophia, the Church of Divine Wisdom. A Christian basilica, the first iteration was built in 325 by Emperor Constantine on the site of a pagan temple. This was the centre … Continue reading Hagia Sophia

Cappadocia, Day Two

Strong winds again scrubbed our balloon flight so we booked a car & driver and headed out to Ortahisar Castle, an enormous honeycombed rock, the highest point in the region, carved out by Romans as a fortress. An impressive sight, great view of the valley, and a nice walk to the top. Admission 70USĀ¢. Ortahisar … Continue reading Cappadocia, Day Two

Cappadocia, Day One

Sealed grave atop a fairy chimney near our hotel. After a snowy Christmas in Ankara, our first destination was Goreme, a silk road village in the Cappadocia region of central Anatolia. We hired a car for the 3-1/2 hour drive and booked rooms at the US$70/night Erenby Cave Hotel, one of many hotels in the … Continue reading Cappadocia, Day One

Inching to Izmir

Our first Turkish adventure was a bus trip to Izmir starting at the otogar in Ankara. Located on the Aegean Sea very close to Lesbos, Izmir is Turkey's third largest city with a population over 4.5 million. Let me digress for a moment with a few words about transport inside Turkey. If you want to … Continue reading Inching to Izmir

Starting out in Ankara

Turkey is vast -- 84 million proud and nationalistic people in an area twice the size of California -- with an incredible depth of history and natural wonders galore. It borders the Mediterranean to the south, the Aegean to the west and the Black Sea to the north. Head northeast and you'll be in Georgia. … Continue reading Starting out in Ankara

Ankara’s Museums

Our first Turkish museum visit was to the Musezi Gordion, 75km southwest of Ankara, the country's capital. Gordion was the capital of the Phrygian Kingdom that flourished until about 700 BC. The area has several large funeral mounds or 'tumuli,' the most famous of which housed the remains of King Midas, he of the golden … Continue reading Ankara’s Museums