Travel

Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar: Where are the women?

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is the size of four soccer fields, a shopper’s Nirvana packed to its mosaic rafters with pashminas, pottery, exotic lanterns, evil eye keychains, and rugs, rugs, rugs. Every day about 250,000 shoppers teem through its corridors and tunnels.  While there, the lack of female salespeople surprised me. The beginnings […]

A Visit To Mother Mary’s House

Mary, Jesus’s mother, spent her last days in Turkey, and I visited her house, surrounded by maple trees, high above the ancient Roman ruins of Ephesus, five miles from the Aegean Sea, now rebuilt by the Catholic Church as a holy place. After Jesus entrusted his mother and apostle John into each other’s care, it […]

Goldilocks and the three mosques

October 11, 2015.  On Sunday we had a free day to hike the historic neighborhood of Sultanahmet, and had a chance to visit three mosques. Being in a holy place on Sunday felt right, even if Christian churches are scarce. Much like Goldilocks with the three bears, we sampled small, medium and large mosques, and […]

In Turkey, we grieve the tragedy in Ankara

David and I grieve for the victims and their families in the unspeakable tragedy in Ankara.  Why those rallying for peace were victims of twin bombings is bewildering and heartbreaking.  Here in Istanbul our Turkish guide, Cihan, arrived this morning, full of sorrow, preoccupied and worried. Our day of tourism began on a mournful note. […]

Suzette in Turkey and a Syrian Refugee

October 10, 2015.  After an 11 hour flight from Boston, we arrive at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. A young man in a suit and tie holds up a sign, “David Standring.”  In a foreign country, it’s sure nice to have someone know your name.  His name is Wassim, and he navigates us through the crowds, […]