On March 22nd Michael and I departed
in hopes of viewing our 6th total solar eclipse. Using frequent
flyer miles led to some interesting routing that added to our pleasure
and to the adventure. From Pittsburgh we flew to La Guardia. We
rented a car and drove into New York with our luggage and met up
with our dear Dror-John (AFS 1989-90), his partner Barbara and
their beautiful and charming 1 year old daughter Hannah. After
lunch and some time in Central Park we headed to JFK where we boarded
a flight to Vienna and in the morning of the 23rd transferred to
a flight to Istanbul.
arrived at our hotel in the late afternoon. All those geography
tests came to mind as we tried to locate ourselves. Istanbul is
all of the darker brown parts of the map below so you can see it
is located in both Europe and Asia.
were in the Sultanahmet district near the black dot on the map
which is at the center of the "Old
City". It was a great place for walking and exploring. When
we looked out our window we had wonderful views of the Blue Mosque,
Hagia Sophia, the Sea of Marmara and the beginning of the Bospherus
Strait. Here are our day and night views.
you will see in the following pages our days were full and the views
overwhelming. Why have we never come to this amazing country before?
We learned so much that clarified and enhanced those long-ago history
lessons. The eclipse viewing was as magical and as emotional as the
previous ones have been. Our travelling companions and leader (all
interesting and wonderful new friends) were an added plus and
Wilderness Travel's excellent planning (thank you Mari!) made the
trip a complete success.
Our return included two nights in Vienna (another "why never here
before?") where we marvelled over the grandeur and vibrancy
of the city. Then it was back to Pittsburgh by way of Warsaw (no
time for souvenirs here) and Chicago.