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?


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?”)

Edirne: "Splendid Architecture"



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.

Kıyıköy: The Black Sea


15 November 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

The Black Sea.  I have never been here before.  I’ve been to Romania three times but I never went to Constanţa, the popular beach resort.  I’ve been to Bulgaria but I avoided Varna.   I guess I avoid the noisy, popular beach resorts now.  Too much...I don’t know…too much of the stuff I don’t do anymore. 

Anyway, here I am in tiny Kıyıköy (pop 2500).  From my hotel balcony, the view is the wonderfully blue waters of the Black Sea.*