Decorated ceiling

Imagining the Lives of the Harem Women at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace

The surroundings are stunning. Sumptuous Ottoman architecture, Moorish arches, and Iznik tile mosaics. This was where the Sultan lived with his numerous wives, children and concubines, and I am trying to imagine what it must have been like to live Read More

The Beautiful Blue Coast of Heybeliada

Ferrying to the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul

On the ferries to Princes’ Islands, I would always drink copious amounts of tea. Waiters with dangling trays roamed up and down the decks touting chai for less than a dollar, delivering a tear-drop Turkish tea cup on a little glass saucer, complete Read More

Bridge from Europe to Asia in Istambul

Drifting Between Continents on a Bosphorus Day-Cruise in Istanbul

Talk about Continental Drift: I am floating -- literally -- between Asia and Europe. To my left is familiarity, reassuring names like Paris and Venice, Vienna and Madrid. To my right are places like Kazakhstan and Urumqi: the exotic lands of western Read More