I started my adventure: I am on my way to France, but first I have a few stops. First I had a lay over in New York (I always long to  stay, but I’ll be back in July). Next I crossed the Atlantic and two continents to Istanbul. There I was meet by my friend and gracious host Burcu. 

As we whisked through the city (well, sometimes crawling because of traffic- Istanbul is booming as well as beautiful), she gave me a brief history.  Istanbul is on the crossroads of history and continents. The wide, blue Bosporus winds its way between the city, half of which sits on Asia and the other half on Europe. On the highway near the ocean Burcu pointed out the crumbling but still massive Byzantine walls that fortified the city when it was the seat of the Eastern Rome. Out in the ocean equally massive cargo ships anchored at a distance, waiting patiently for their turn to enter the Bosporus, and hence, the continents. 

Istanbul is such a fascinating mixture of old and new, I thought, as we drove on a freeway that went under an aqua duct. I contemplated the history: The seat of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, the hub for the Spice Road, the city that spans two continents. I realized I know so little about Istanbul and long to learn more. 

To be continued in the next post…