Category: Turkey

My long-form travel journals which include historical notes and travel tips. Excerpts with heavy photo content are housed at

The Inspired Turks

This collection resulted from my travels through Istanbul in 2011. They are shown there alongside the architectural elements that I was inspired by.

Return to Turkey

“See what is outside of Istanbul for a couple of days. Cappadocia perhaps. Or Ephesus.” He offers to find a tour that I can afford and make those arrangements. I chose instead, the ancient Ottoman capitol of Bursa.

Crossroads Tour – A final Bazaar, a last museum, a last day

Baha invites me to Captain’s Table for breakfast, which he promptly covers with an extensive array of dishes. We are joined by an Australian woman who is also leaving today. Baha offers to take us to the bazaar to buy suzani (the embroidered bedspreads)…

Crossroads Tour – Ayasofya and the Sea of Marmara

Today is my last day in Istanbul. My first stop this morning is Ayasofya, another architectural wonder whose design elements I would replicate as a hat…

Crossroads Tour – The Hamami, Suleyman Camii and a Lost Taxi

The final step is being led to a pool of cool water that did not smell of salt but which made me feel more buoyant than I know I am. There are shafts of light coming through the dome and piercing the water. I am floating as much in shafts as in the cool water of the pool…

Crossroads Tour – The Horn, Astrolabes, and a Holy Place

I hurry on to the Islamic Science Museum, eager to see how it compares to the Galileo Museum in Florence. There are world globes in the entryway, but unlike the ones in Florence, these are not enclosed in glass. The first room is filled with astrolabes!

Crossroads Tour – The Bosphorus

I find the Sirkeci train station, the arrival point of the legendary Orient Express. I had hoped to come to Istanbul on this train, but it only runs twice a year, departing out of London.

Crossroads Tour – The Topkapi Palace

I arrive at the Topkapi Palace 2 hours before closing. I wait in a line that eats up twenty valuable minutes, and enter through the Gate of Salutation, whose iconic towers remind me a little bit of Disneyland.

Crossroads Tour – Sleepless in the Sultanahmet

It’s overcast outside, much like my mood. I’m exhausted. I cannot get onto the WIFI. I am ready to buy a return plane ticket if I can ever get online…

Crossroads Tour – The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar as large and noisy as you would expect a 5,000 store shopping mall to be. Rick Steves says to spend about 2 hours here, which is about as much time as a human has before their retinas start to melt…

Crossroads Tour – The Carpet Salesman

At last … my first day in Istanbul, the center of the medieval world dating back to 330 AD, when it was known as Constantinople….

Crossroads Tour – Welcome to OZ !

My luggage even showed up although I honestly did not expect it to. The luggage carousel was convenient to the Lost and Found desk, where I turned in a Diners Club credit card that I found on the floor. I took minor comfort in the fact that someone’s day was worse than mine…

Crossroads Tour – Florence to Istanbul

Today begins the second leg of my Crossroads Tour, as I depart Florence for the long awaited and much anticipated city of Istanbul.