Turkey Gets Back In.

Long ago as Alex and I discussed our dream adventure this is what the itinerary looked like:
Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Egypt too I think.

We were going to visit all of the holy sites important to the Abrahamic religions. We started big, but eventually trimmed it down to Italy and Greece. No complaints! I've been thrilled, almost stunned, by the prospect of seeing the millions of exciting things there.

But wait.

A recent wedding invitation created a stir in our solid plan. All of a sudden we found our adventure nearly doubled. In order to attend a late August wedding in Stockholm we had to put Turkey back in the game. It's on the way! From Crete. Kind of.

Oh Hagia Sophia! Consecrated in the 6th century. Istanbul, the Bosphorus and Asia on the other side.

Originally a Byzantine church, then an Ottoman mosque, now secularized as a museum.

On this trip we will get to see both capitals of the Roman Empire. The Western capital city in Ravenna and the Eastern in Constantinople, not Istanbul. Justinian! While we're there we will meet up with one of Alex's colleagues and a woman that I used to work for in Philadelphia. And we're staying with an incredible Turkish artist who got her Master's (and her cat) in Boston!

There are going to be lots of adventures in Turkey. I know it! The Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque and the Chora Church and a cruise on the Bosphorus over to Asia, Nicea (Iznik), Bursa. The little guide book we have describes every other thing as magical. 

Blue Mosque.
The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, Byzantine Church in Istanbul.
Anastasis (Resurrection): Christ releases Adam and Eve after breaking through the gates of hell (see the locks and Satan's prone body), fresco.

Even though we feel that the trip might be going over the top now, we couldn't resist booking a short flight to Cappadocia, in central Turkey. We're still in our selfish phase.

Goreme in Cappadocia.
Fairy chimneys! Goreme in Cappadocia.
We're staying in a rock cave house! I want to bike around all day and discover these temples carved out of living rock where Christians, while hiding from persecution, painted incredible cave church interiors.

I like that we are closing the trip with Sweden where it'll be much more relaxed in many ways. We'll get a break from the intense Mediterranean sun with cool Swedish breezes. Even though we have some friends to see in Istanbul, I think we'll appreciate the loving, down to earth rituals and celebration in favor of busy tourist activities. Plus a foreign language wedding!

There are a lot of things I missed last time I was in Stockholm, though. Mostly marzipan related.

I can't remember who these characters are, but they're beloved by Swedes.
Here they are made from marzipan.  

No comments:

Post a Comment