The Cutest Stray Cats in Istanbul

Yes, I am a cat lover. So in addition to all of the amazing history and architecture I knew I would see in Istanbul, I was really looking forward to seeing all of Istanbul’s stray […]

The Ancient Armenian Capital of Ani

Ani, Turkey

Once upon a time, there was a magnificent city on the banks of the Akhuryan River whose splendor and prominence rivaled that of Baghdad, Cairo and Constantinople. On the map since the 5th century, it […]

All I Ever Wanted to Know About Ottoman Architecture

Sehzade Mehmed Mosque, Istanbul

It is impossible to understand the history of Istanbul or of Turkey as a whole without getting a good feel for the history of the Ottoman Empire – one of the largest and longest-lasting empires […]

From Turkey to Tbilisi: The Not-Quite-By-The-Book Way

Near Turkey Georgia border

  “What the hell have I gotten myself into?”   I stared out of the dusty back window of the black clunker that had carried me less than a mile from the Turkey-Georgia border to […]

Comfort in Kars: The Grand Ani Hotel

Grand Ani Hotel, Kars, Turkey

Thunder rumbled above me as I gathered my bags out of the back of the minibus that brought me from Erzurum to Kars. Dropped in the center of the city, I knew my hotel, the […]

An Early Morning Tour of Trabzon

Trabzon bench

What do you do when you arrive in a new city at 6:00 a.m. and you can’t yet check into your hotel? After fueling yourself at McDonald’s, you take a self-guided walking tour of course. […]

A Little About Amasya (and its really cool castle)

Amasya, Turkey

It suddenly occurred to me that there might be snakes. I was about 45 minutes into a steep hike leading out of the Turkish town of Amasya, the sun beating down on me and sweat […]