Eskişehir, Turkey 7 – In search of Meerschaum pipes – 5/2014

May 11, 2016

Meerschaum, (German for foam of the sea), is a soft white clay mineral also known as sepiolite. Pure white Turkish meerschaum has been prized for centuries. The first recorded use for making pipes was around 1723. Our trail led us to the town of Eskişehir and then to the countryside where our search for meerschaum ended at a hole in the ground about 20 feet deep.

Istanbul 6, Turkey – 4/2014

March 30, 2016

We are market junkies, and we’ve wandered through some of the best, but there is only one Grand Bazaar. Call it a “shopping mall” if you want to homogenize it, but Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is much more. It started as a small market in 1455, and grew into an important trading center on the Silk Road, expanding into what must be considered a city within a city.

Istanbul 5, Turkey – 4/2014

March 23, 2016

After a quick Shish Kebab on the street and a glass of fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice, we headed over to the astounding and fascinating Topkapı Palace and museum, home of the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years.

Istanbul 4, Turkey – 4/2014

March 14, 2016

Some of the most amazing examples of engineering and architecture in the world are places of worship. We had seen a few of the most impressive in Europe. Standing in a class by themselves are the imposing mosques of Istanbul, and we just happened to be camped beneath the most famous one, The Blue Mosque, (called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish).

Istanbul 3, Turkey – 4/2014

February 25, 2016

Problems!! Perhaps not critical or life threatening, but the convenience of having hot water without having to start the engine was addictive. When our 14-year-old Espar D5 Hydronic fluid heater, which could also preheat the engine on cold mornings and serve as a backup heater for the camper, started to have trouble firing up back in Greece, we were concerned.

Istanbul 2, Turkey – 4/2014

February 16, 2016

With our truck safely parked on the edge of the Bosporus, we were a short walk from Sultanahmet Park and two of the most impressive mosques in the city, but our first stop was the famous Pudding Shop, a small café and restaurant that has hosted travelers for decades. Even Bill Clinton had stopped by in […]

Istanbul 1, Turkey – 4/2014

February 2, 2016

Leaving the illusion of “safe” EU countries, we headed toward the border of Turkey with some trepidation. Crossing into a new country is always a little exciting, but Turkey is on a different level. A new language that was not part of Monika’s repertoire; A new religion; The first Muslim country we had visited in many years; New foods; Great memories of my last two adventures in Turkey. We filled up our fuel tanks and Jerry cans in Greece with the anticipation of $8.00 a gallon diesel.

Soufli, Greece – 3/2014

January 22, 2016

Not to bore you with a history or biology lesson, but you might be interested in the fascinating drama of what silk is all about. If you don’t read any further, ponder this: Just one ounce of silkworm eggs contains 40,000 eggs (1,500 eggs per gram). The worms from those eggs will eat 3,500 pounds, […]

The Silk Road 2014

December 26, 2015

Exploring the special places of Western Europe for over a year was wonderful. Of course we couldn’t see all of any one country in a month, but we had picked some of the highlights in Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Monaco, Italy and Greece. Now as we prepare ourselves for what will be the most exciting part of our Trans-Eurasian Odyssey, following the Silk Road, some might wonder, what’s it all about?

Mt. Olympus & Dion, Greece – 2/2014

December 17, 2015

Perhaps you have never noticed that over the millennia, religion has been at the forefront of all history. Before “history” was even recorded there were poems and stories, learned, repeated, changed and eventually accepted as fact. Homer’s Odyssey and The Iliad are classic examples. Since there were no cameras or other means of recording what “was”, all religion in some way are based on mythology and the interpretation of mythology.