Hodjapasha Turkish Folk Dancing Istanbul

Turkish Folk Dances Thought I booked a whirling dervish performance through my hotel in Beyoğlu. Communication isn’t always easy in Istanbul since few people speak English. The person I usually ask for help wasn’t available, and the concierge who helped didn’t understand me. Instead of the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony, he booked a cultural show of Turkish…

Read More

Bosphorus Cruise to Istanbul’s Anadolu Kavağı

Bosphorus Strait to Macar Bay Yesterday, I took an excursion from Eminönü to Anadolu Kavağı, a small seaside village on Macar Bay at the entrance to the Black Sea. It was a mesmerizing day enjoying astonishing views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus Strait! Even with sunscreen, I got sunburned. The ferry departed Eminönü dock at…

Read More

Ramadan in Istanbul

After a few days in Istanbul, I’m smitten with the vibrant, diverse, exotic city where things are always in motion! Communication is slightly more difficult than I remembered from a previous visist, although I’m getting by. None of the flight attendants on Turkish Airlines spoke English. When I asked for details about landing and immigration…

Read More

Arrivederci Roma!

These weeks in Rome have passed so quickly! It’s sad that as I’m settling in and beginning to conquer the Italian learning curve, it’s time to move on to Istanbul. I resist the “moving part” of each leg on a long trip – knowing everything is going to change completely overnight and a new orientation…

Read More

Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque Istanbul

Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are the two best-known and most beloved attractions in Istanbul. The architecture of both structures is indescribably beautiful and their history seems endless. From early morning to dusk, rain or shine, long lines of visitors admire the exterior of these twp amazing structures and wait to get inside. The buildings…

Read More

Whirling Dervishes

Was it a dance performance, a spiritual ceremony, or both – not sure what to think about the Whirling Dervishes performance last night? It was mildly hypnotic but not what I expected. The proper name for a Whirling Dervishes performance is – Mevlevi Sema Ceremony. Founded in 1273, the Mevleviye are a Sufi order that…

Read More

Sirkeci, Beyoğlu, and Eminönü Istanbul

I’ve spent the last several days exploring Istanbul neighborhoods seeing famous attractions and observing everyday Turkish life. The weather is slightly overcast but not cold or unpleasant. Hopefully we’ll have more sunshine in the next few days. Beyoğlu and Eminönü – Istanbul’s Backstreets, Bazaars, Hookahs, and Çay Istanbul has 39 districts and many unique quarters,…

Read More