Istanbul: "Turkish Coffee Moments"

 July 20, 2002

Istanbul, Turkey

Dear Family and Friends,

Turkey. What a wonderful country!  Beautiful rivers and mountains and valleys.  Excellent sites.

Istanbul.  What a wonderful city!  Elegant mosques and palaces.  Hospitable and enthusiastic people.

In Istanbul, the most pleasurable moment of the day was to stop for a while, take a coffee and just watch and listen.


Edirne: "Buildings"

Edirne: "Buildings"


12 November 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

Someone once criticized me for taking too few "people" photos and too many "building" photos. OK. Maybe. OK. But in Edirne, how could I resist, how could I resist the buildings?

The guidebook uses the phrases "an embarrassment of architecture" and "splendid architecture." It's no exaggeration.

I walked from mosque to mosque and market to market, thankful that I decided to come here and thankful that I remembered to recharge the battery in my camera.


Çanakkale: "The Towers of Ilium"

11 November 2009

Dear DrMuscarella

Cc:  Family and friends
Thank you, Oscar, for encouraging me to travel to Çanakkale to visit the ruins of Troy.
The guidebooks praise the hilltop view to the valley and the Dardanelles – the strait that connects the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea.  And the ruins themselves, even for a non-professional, are impressive.  What is truly seductive is that when I gaze into the archeological dig, I look down into 5000 years of human settlement in this area.  (“Was this the face that launch’d a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium?”)

Pergamum: "Is this Where It All Began? And Other Questions"


09 November 2009

My Dear Doctor Friends,

Cc: Family and Friends and my Fellow Patients

For Medicine in the Western World, is this where it all began? At the Asclepion in the North Aegean region of ancient Pergamum?

Here's a dose of Greek mythology:

The son of Apollo, Asclepius, the god of healing was a famous physician. His mother, Coronis, a princess of Thessaly, died when he was an infant. Apollo entrusted the child's education to Chiron, a centaur, who taught Asclepius the healing arts. Asclepius, when grown, became so skilled in surgery and the use of medicinal plants that he could even restore the dead back to life. Hades, ruler of the dead, became alarmed at this and complained to Zeus. How did Zeus handle the complaint?


Izmir: The Agora and the Synagogues

08 November 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

I have decided on a final itinerary for my remaining time in Turkey: Selcuk – Izmir – Bergama – Canakkale – Edirne – Karacakoy – Istanbul. Now I need to pick up the pace and cut back a bit on my strolling and wandering.

The first decision is how much time to spend in Izmir (pop 2.6 mil). I decided, very little. Big cities have become less attractive to me. But Izmir, the ancient city of Smyrna, is known for its large Jewish community and I did want to see the old synagogues.

Selçuk: "The Market, the Basilica, the Citadel and the Locomotives"

06 November 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

After Ephesus, I took the day off to wander around Selçuk.

I found the Citadel, the Basilica of St John,* the remains of a Roman aqueduct and a colorful Market.

I took a bus to Çamlik to wander around the Steam Locomotive Museum.

Of course, I wandered into one or two pastry shops.