Istanbul, Turkey

On Location: Traditional Turkey—Minarets, Museums, and Mezze

Zegrahm Contributor|September 9, 2008|Blog Post

As we cruised out of Istanbul and through the Bosporus, we stood on deck photographing the dozens of minarets that pierce the blue sky and the different angles of Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, and Aya Sofia. Hundreds of fishermen lined every bridge and beach.

The next day we visited the quaint and picturesque fishing village of Amasra. It was a wonderful day for walking and we explored the Genoese Fort and the Archaeological Museum. Our athletic hikers climbed to the highest point for great views of the Black Sea and the colorful village below. It was clear and warm enough for swimming—two adventurous swimmers actually said the water was warmer than the air!

We continued along the northern Turkish coast to Amasya where the highlights included the Archaeological Museum with its fascinating mummy exhibits and the Ethnographic Museum, which features traditional Turkish houses. Once again our avid hikers made it to the top, and while they were enjoying the magnificent views of the River Valley, our birders and naturalists were searching for the holy grail of the day, the lammergeier! Three people spotted it! We had a delicious traditional lunch high atop the mountain overlooking the river and city. The mezze platter—with red ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, baba ganoush, and roasted red peppers—was just delicious! Our main course of shish kebabs and couscous was accompanied by some of the best fresh bread many of us claimed we had ever had. Next, we sail to Trabzon and the Byzantine Sumela Monastery…

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