At the Crossroads

Vivian Vassos with the red roses in Istanbul in the Sultan Ahmet area of the city.

Caught between Europe and the Middle East, Turkey’s topography and culture provide a visual delight. Take in the sites with our travel editor, Vivian Vassos. Here, her photo journal of Cappadocia and Istanbul.

Cappadocia

Magic Carpets

The Turkish Carpet is renowned for its beauty and intricacy, along with being faithful to traditional and tribal patterns.

MagicCarpets

 

Cave Men

Carved directly into the rocks, these caves housed pilgrims and refugees for centuries. Today, many have been modernized and turned into novel accommodations for tourists.

CaveMen 

Bird’s Eye View

Sunrise is the best time to take in a hot air balloon ride over this lunar like landscape.

BirdsEyeView

 

Houses of the Holy

Evidence of the Christian population that took refuge in this rocky region still exists via well-preserved chapels carved directly into the cliff sides.

 HousesoftheHoly

 

Let There be Light

Sunrise over Cappadocia displays a natural topography mixed with more modern buildings.

 LetThereBeLight

 

Coffee Break

The world famous Turkish Coffee, served in an ornate ceramic teacup, is a daily ritual. Creating ceramics, like carpets, are an ages-old artisan tradition here.

CoffeeBreak

 

NEXT: PHOTO JOURNAL OF ISTANBUL

Istanbul

Blue Moon

The Sultan Ahmet, or Blue Mosque, with its eight minarets, glows golden at night.

BlueMoon

 

City of Roses

In the spring, the whole of Istanbul is awash with beds of roses of all shapes, colours and varieties. These beauties have been teased into topiary forms.

 City-ofRoses

 

Divine Wisdom

The majesty that is the Hagia Sophia, still considered an architectural marvel to this day, is now a museum.

 

DivineWisdom

 

East Meets West

In many parts of the city, particularly in the old quarter, ancient mixes with modern architecture. You may even spy blocks of multi-coloured homes, reminiscent of the “Jelly Bean” houses of St. John’s, Nfld.

 

EastMeetsWest

Iconic Representation

Due to the prescience of the rulers of the day, many artifacts, including religious mosaics and frescoes were preserved and have been restored and on display, here at the Kariye Museum, housed in what was originally the Byzantine St. Saviour in Chora church.

 IconicRepresentation

 

Insider’s Eye

The interior of the Hagia Sophia is resplendent with paintings, mosaics, frescoes and, most impressively, the grand, 32-metre cupola, which has withstood time and earthquakes since 558.

 InsidersEye

 

Sweet Treats

There’s no limit to the varieties of Turkish Delight – bakeries stack the sweets in a rainbow of flavours and colours.

 SweetTreats