Israel 2012 — Part 1

Our Jordanian tour company representative accompanied us as far as possible through the customs and immigration bureaucracy on the Jordanian side of the Sheik Hussein bridge border crossing.  We proceeded to sit in the Jordanian bus for 45 minutes (thank goodness, with the air conditioning on), waiting to make the five minute drive across the[…]

Turkey Tour: Final Thoughts

This two-week tour of Turkey was managed by Go Ahead Vacations, a Boston-based tour company.  Susan and I had traveled using their services once before, to Italy in 2006.  We decided that for a country like Turkey, with which we were completely unfamiliar, that going with an organized tour was the best way to see[…]

Turkey: Religion and Politics

Above:  Hercules (Greek-300BC) Atalya Museum Our Turkish tour guide, Mehmet, has a college degree in English literature.  His spent his military service working as a translator.  Obviously, his English language skills are outstanding.  Having been a tourist guide for twenty years, he has visited these Turkish historical sites hundreds of times.  Thus, he has refined[…]

Ancient Greek Glory and Turkish Food

Day Three: Pergamon Pergoman is an Acropolis, the Greek word for the upper city.  Just as the Athens, Greece, Acropolis consists of grand columned structures overlooking the valley below, the Pergamon Acropolis does the same.  Pergoman is famous for one of mankind’s most pervasive and important inventions:  the codex, that is, the design of modern[…]

Visiting the Ruins of Ancient Troy

Day Two: Troy Our merry tour group was driven by bus for about four hours south of Istanbul to tour the ruins of the ancient city of Troy.  The story of the fall of the city of Troy was immortalized by the legendary prophet Homer in the Iliad.  Homer told the tale of a ten-year[…]

A Tour of Istanbul

My Second Trip to Turkey I first visited Turkey in 1971, back-packing overland enroute to India (my very first India trip) with my German friend, Gert.  We flew from East Berlin (communist GDR at that time, and the source of cheap student air tickets), via Budapest to Istanbul.  We arrived at night, and I’ll never[…]

From Reno to Istanbul

This is the first blog post of my current monthlong trip, comprised of a two-week Turkish tour, a few days in Jordan, and finally, ten days in Israel. Our departure from Reno was delayed slightly by the arrival of Air Force One, a beautiful Boeing 747 carrying President Obama to a political event in Reno.  […]
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