I followed the Quilt Barn Trail in Tualatin Valley, Oregon, and discovered great places to eat global, drink local, play with Mother Nature and love my stay in a fun and quirky lodge. You do not have to be a quilter to experience and enjoy this destination that is barely 30 minutes west of Portland, OR.
You’ll see Whirling Dervish performances advertised throughout Istanbul, offering an evening of entertainment. But for an authentic experience, I chose to attend a true Mevlevi religious ritual at the Galata Dervish Monastery.
A hamam, or Turkish bath is a unique experience to Turkey. I wanted to try it on my first visit to Istanbul, but to do so, I would have to set aside my inhibitions about being seen naked by strangers. Could I do that?
Street art may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of art in Istanbul. But on my recent visit, I discovered some great examples in the area of Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city. Searching out the street art was also a great way to explore this less touristy part of Istanbul.
Simit is a common street food in Istanbul. Dough is formed into a ring, dipped in grape molasses and sesame seeds and then baked. Vendors sell it from street carts, or, as in this case, by carrying a tower of freshly baked simit around the neighborhood to sell to local residents. This gives a whole new meaning to a balanced breakfast.
Thanks for visiting
When I travel, I am always on the lookout for new and unique experiences or classes, especially if they involve a creative element. So, when my friend and traveling companion discovered a class where we could learn Turkish Paper Marbling in Istanbul, I knew I needed to fit that into my Istanbul itinerary.
Paris has the Palace of Versailles. Vienna has the Hofburg Palace. London has Buckingham Palace. In Istanbul, it is Topkapi Palace that was the opulent home to the Sultan rulers of the Ottoman Empire and their female entourage for almost 400 years.
To step through the door into Hagia Irene in Istanbul is to step through a time portal back to fourth century Constantinople. Before the more famous Hagia Sofia was built, Hagia Irene served as the main church for the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Hagia Irene also served as a model for the construction of the Hagia Sofia next door.
My first visit to Istanbul was in the spring of 2016 with my husband. We were excited to experience all the great history and culture and came back with many great memories. But one of our most memorable moments was a quiet hour that we spent sipping Turkish tea at sunset, looking out over the Bosphorus.
Photo location: An abundance of tulips and other spring flowers in Gülhane Park, Istanbul.