How about that?  There was more to Turkey than ham as what TC had thought.   Our trip to this country provided us with insights on this country full of history and culture.

5.  The well preserved ruins of Ephesus – A 55 minute flight from Istanbul will bring you to Izmir – the home of Ephesus.  TC and I have seen a number of Roman sites throughout our trips along the Mediterranean but none of these is as impressive as the Library and the Theater.

The Library of Celsus is an impressive three-storey facade complete with intricate moldings at the top of columns.  This was one of the libraries built by the Roman Empire outside Rome itself.

A side view of the famous library

4.  Marian pilgrimage site – Prior to our trip to Izmir, TC and I were not aware that Turkey was the last earthly home of the Virgin Mary.  A number of Christian pilgrims flock to witness her simple dwelling.  The area is tranquil, well shaded, highly spiritual and a real solace for the faithful.

The humble dwelling of Virgin Mary

Petitions hang on the wall from the faithful all over the world

3.  The Turkish desserts –  Turks take their sweets very seriously.  Their sweets are saccharine shoveled delights which would surely court tooth decay and enflamed tonsils.   Seriously…  the sweets are so rich that it could only be paired with the bitterest of all coffee.

Danger for tonsils and teeth

2.  Modern side of Istanbul – TC and I are city folks so we can’t this picture a city without its seaside malls, modern trains and its well lit wide sidewalks.

Aqua Florya, one of the best malls in Istanbul

1.  The Blue Mosque and The Haggia Sophia –  if there were two edifices that will ably depict Istanbul at its best. Haggia Sophia was the seat of the Eastern Christian church when the city was still called Constatinople.  From a Christian church, it became a mosque and now a world heritage site.

The Blue Mosque is a Muslim masterpiece where the faithful continue to congregate.

The Blue Mosque moon kissed in the night

Ongoing restoration inside Haggia Sophia

Haggia Sophia preserved for the next generations

Happy Sailings Everyone!

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