It’s been four years since I’ve been to Turkey and 14 years since I came to live here for a year (an experience which became my first book, The Yogurt Man Cometh); it seems it gets a little nicer every time.
Today’s photo is appropriate not just for the return to Turkey, however. Last weekend was the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople. On May 29, 1453, the Ottoman Turks took the Byzantine city that would become Istanbul after a siege of a month and a half. From a rooftop in Asia, I snapped this photo of the old part of the city on the European side. Sunday night saw a huge fireworks display over the Golden Horn (Haliç), the narrow inlet that cuts into the European side right beyond the view here. The sun is setting on the Byzantine Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya), one of the most magnificent churches ever built. It became a mosque for a few centuries but today is a museum, reflecting both its Christian and Muslim influences. It is one of my favorite places on earth and we’ll be posting a photo gallery at The Mad Traveler main site of our recent visit now that all internal scaffolding is gone. We spent almost four hours inside!
Well, it looks like I am lucky, according to Turkish belief: Last night I got pegged, dead square on the top of my head by an unseen feathered bombardier in the park near our hotel. Yes, what luck! Like someone cracked an egg in my hair. Peung laughed but she got hit as well on her jacket.
With any luck I can keep up with all the travel — I still need to post the rest of the photo galleries and blogs from our safari trip in Kenya. I interrupt that task only to post a photo indicative of where we are at the moment. And even that’s not exactly current: we left Istanbul for the week to make a sidetrip to see the ruins of Ephesus (Efes) and points thereabouts. Yeah, that means more photo galleries… soon!