|Margaret and Bebek in Istanbul|
My little dragon, Bebek, traveled with me (and my husband and two teenagers) to Istanbul, Turkey over the winter holiday. (Bebek is ‘baby’ in Turkish.) We flew into Istanbul on Christmas day and remained for one week. Bebek, an agreeable adventurer and companion, accompanied me to many wonderful places in Istanbul. This photo was taken at Taksim Square, on December 28th. We were at the Republic Monument, which commemorates the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. We walked a great deal each day, setting out from our lovely small hotel in the old part of the city (Sultanamet.) Bebek and I got a lot of exercise, and greatly enjoyed interacting with people and hearing numerous beautiful languages. We had special times with many new Turkish acquaintances, as well as fellow travelers from Sri Lanka, Germany, England, France, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, and more. We shared a meal with an Australian woman on vacation, who teaches English and Italian to high school students in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Our explorations, by foot and tram, took us to the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque and other mosques, the Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern, the Galata Tower, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, and to many unique restaurants and shops. There were fantastic discoveries when we visited the Islamic Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam. We marveled at the mazelike shopping environment of the Grand Bazaar. Our boat trip on the Bosphorus, and a later walk along the edge of the Sea of Marmara, were lovely experiences. The old city walls, some 1500 years old, were part of the rich history we enjoyed in this beautiful city. Bebek and I encourage anyone who loves to travel and be welcomed with great hospitality (and delicious food!) to add the great city of Istanbul, Turkey to your list of places to someday visit. I hope to go again; one week is not nearly enough time to experience this grand city, and its rich culture and history.
Margaret Patton, Administrative Assistant for the Honors College