Sue Nieland


Sue Nieland

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli October 21st 2014

Today we crossed the Dardanelles after lunch in Eceabat. We are now in Asia, Anatolia, Asia Minor. Before the crossing, we stopped at the battleground on Gallipoli where the "the sick man of Europe," led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk defeated the Allied troops. Then down the coast to Troy--not a very impressive ruin but a 9-layered one. Troy 6 is the Homer/Brad Pitt layer which was looted by the German-American Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870's. We shared lots of laughs about the "job description" of his second wife: "She should be poor, beautiful, a Homer enthusiast, dark haired, well educated and possessed of a good and loving heart." He apparently found a 16 year old Greek who fit the bill! Ataturk is everywhere--each hamlet has an Ataturk Parki and each home, a photograph. This pastel from ... read more

Middle East » Turkey October 15th 2014

We began our day with a stroll through Taksim square, past the monument of Atatürk dragging his countrymen into the future and down Istiklal street... a charming meander along a pedestrian street with shops, restaurants and at least 5 Starbucks. We decided to return to a belle epoch building with lots of restaurants to celebrate Steve's birthday. On to the small but lovely Kariye museum for a view of Byzantine mosaics on a small scale then on to Hagia Sophia to see things on a grand scale. My sister Amy joined us for dinner not realizing that the police might tear gas protestors including our restaurant. When the smoke settled literally, we walked the mile back to our hotel past cordons and busloads of polis, having experienced the discomfort of tear gas.... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Fethiye October 12th 2014

We traveled south today stopping in Sultankoy at a government-sponsored rug factory. An al fresco lunch was served on the complex with a wonderful local wine--Solon. En route to Göcek we stopped in Aydin as one of our group needed medical attention. We were late arriving at the harbor to board the gulet, a replica of a traditional Turkish fishing boat with a crew of 3 named Viagio nella speranza. Late--but delicious--dinner on the boat!... read more
Day 9 Sultankoy
Day 9 Sultankoy (3)
Day 9 Sultankoy (2)

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ephesus October 11th 2014

We spent the day at Ephesus marveling at the restoration and all the tourists, many of whom more interested in selfies than history. The terrace houses of the wealthy are quite amazing--frescoed walls, intricate marble floors, and covered to protect from the elements. Maury was excited to see the amphitheater where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians. On our own for dinner, we tried Izmir's oldest seafood restaurant, Deniz. Not much English spoken but interesting to see a relatively affluent segment of Turkish society out for a weekend meal with family. Yes, there are babies and small children in restaurants at 9p.m. and women drinking raki and wine!... read more
Ephesus (55)
Ephesus (26)

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir October 10th 2014

An amazing gondola ride to Pergamum...similar to getting to the top of Aspen Mountain! It must have been a tortuous walk or cart ride. A bit of haze makes it impossible to see the Aegean but we know it's there. Asclepieum was serene and afforded a lovely view of the acropolis. Izmir seems huge and the hotel, very hi-tech. modern Turkey, Pergamum is now Bergama so I've included a photo of rugs from that region, the home of Galen!... read more
Day 7 Oct 10 Pergamum (22)
Day 7 Oct 10 Pergamum (7)
Day 7 Oct 10 Pergamum (15)

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul October 8th 2014

At breakfast we are joined by my sister and her husband for a family gathering overlooking the Bosporus. The sacrifice holiday is over, few mackerel fishermen on the Atatürk Bridge and we start our day by visiting Rustem Pasha, a jewel box of a mosque beautifully restored and covered with Iznik tiles. The smaller sites are much more accessible and less crowded. We walk to the spice bazaar for a tutorial on saffrons, teas and Turkish delights. From there we bussed to the Grand Bazaar. It would take a day or 2 to figure it out and we had 2 hours. I was disappointed at the time allowed. Blue mosque in the afternoon. Funky restaurant near Taksim square. Lots of hooka smokers. A substitute for alcohol? Oops, forgot the Roman cistern and hippodrome yesterday.... read more

Middle East » Turkey October 6th 2014

Our hotel has a longer tub than I've ever soaked in but no soaking today. A slow bus ride to Topkapi palace built by Mehmet I I and home to sultans. The sultanate lasted 700 years and there were 36 sultans. We spent most of the day here with a break for lunch in the museum cafeteria. Everyone's favorite is the harem (hareem) with blue Iznik tiles, river stone cobbled paths, divans and stained glass designs that mirror those of the tiles. Here is Maury at the entrance to every man's fantasy. The horse was central to the expanse of the Ottoman empire. As Suleiman the magnificent said: "Night and day our horse is saddled and our saber is girt." This photo of golden armour for the horse's face is called a chanfron. Amazing ceremonial weapons...wicker ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul October 5th 2014

We finally have arrived! Is it Istanbul or Paris? Having been in India for divali, it seems that we are in Turkey for Kurban, a 4 day Muslim holiday of sacrifice and charity and lots of people and traffic. Light dinner of Turkish mezzah (like tapas) and sleep!... read more

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago October 4th 2014

Met three Odyssey travelers in the lounge opposite our gate. A good start!... read more

Middle East » Turkey September 26th 2014

Each entry of this trip to Turkey will be headed with haiku. I love connecting tissue, a common thread, a simple but thoughtful theme, and the challenge of poetry. But why start blogging a week before the adventure begins? The details of departure are exhausting...the mail, the bills, the luggage, the luggage tags, the newspapers, the prescriptions, the dog, the garden, the cell phone international plan, the volunteer responsibilities put on hold, and the right shoes...It's not easy packing light for three weeks and knowing that your feet will be appropriately shod for the Grand Bazaar, a night on the town in Istanbul, the decks of the gulet, or a hike to the baths of Cleopatra. Chartreuse Toms will be perfect for the gulet! Detail only starts with packing. It includes context: In the past 8 ... read more
Garden Oct 2014

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