February 27, 2012

Edirne, Turkey. June, 2007

What a lovely break from the crowds of Istanbul was this day trip west to Edirne. On the Turkish border with Greece and Bulgaria, it was originally founded by Hadrian as Adrianople, then later became the Ottoman capital before the sultanate moved to Constantinople. Consequently it’s dotted with wonderful examples of remarkable architecture and decor. Like this domed ceiling in the Eski Cami, the “old mosque.” “Old” in this case means 1413. And this was only my first stop in this quiet eastern Thracian city. Before the day was over, I’d hit two more wonderful mosques (one out in country fields, one a major historical site), a Turkish bath, two markets and a father-and-son sandwich shop where I had a chicken shish on pita for less than a dollar. Then, on the two-and-one-half-hour bus ride back to Istanbul, the movie being shown featured my old pal, actress Deborah Rush. (I’d seen a book by her curator brother Michael, a good friend from high school, in an Istanbul book shop the previous night.) Small, wonderful world.

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