Thursday, July 26, 2012

Annapolis, Maryland 2010

While scanning through old photographs on Picassa this morning I decided to share my visit to Annapolis in 2010. Annapolis is a good getaway where the pace is slow, the food delicious (well, I never did figure out what to do with those soft shell crabs), and the surroundings a visual delight!

We stayed at The Maryland Inn

The dome of the Maryland State Capitol Building is visible throughout the city.

The Maryland Inn is one of three "Historic Inns of Maryland"
Positive - It is well located on the main "tourist" street and within walking distance to most of the attractions in the city.
Negative - The room was about the size of my master closet and the window air conditioner was definitely having issues!

The Robert Johnson House
Another of the "Historic Inns of Maryland"

The Governor Calvert House
The third of the Historic Inns.

I had plenty of time to explore the city while my husband attended meetings.

The Maryland State Capitol Building

House Chambers

Beautiful old homes create a step back in time.

The Naval Academy is located in the city on the waterfront.
Take a walk around.
Waterfront views from the Naval Academy are the best in the city. 

I took this photo from the Naval Academy.
It was late in the afternoon and the sailboats were returning.

I think this one was taken from Pusser's Restaurant

 Speaking of Pusser's Restaurant, we had dinner here a couple of nights.
Can't beat the location late in the afternoon.

Ate lunch at Middleton Tavern (Est. 1750).

Had the best fish and chips ever at the Cafe' Normandie.
(restaurant with the big pots in front)

Nice shops and restaurants up and down the street.
There was usually a bench available to rest and enjoy an ice cream and people watch for awhile.
Yep, there is the State House dome again.

Alex Haley Memorial
"Telling the Story"

Annapolis is a short drive from Washington, DC.
If you are in the area and haven't been to Annapolis I recommend a visit to this historic, beautiful and welcoming city.

♥andPeace, Myra

Monday, July 16, 2012

Turkish Delight - Iznik and Bursa

From Istanbul we boarded the ferry to Yalova. We took our bus and driver along on the ferry.

Jim enjoyed the outside seating for the trip.

Here we are in Yalova.

Following a picturesque ride on our bus we arrived at the location of the ancient city of Nicea.
The town located in the area is now called Iznik.

A lovely old mosque stands in the town square of Iznik and is still used for prayers.

Remains of the Old Wall

Visiting a pottery studio in Iznik

Iznik is famous for its tiles.
 The tiles are found throughout Istanbul in many of the historical buildings.

Pottery Demonstration

I bought this tile in the shop in the photograph above.
I had it framed and it now hangs in my kitchen.

Lunch in Iznik was just across the street from the old mosque.
It was a perfect day for an outdoor table and the food was wonderful!

Delicious! Yep those are French fries on the sandwich.
Meat from the Turkish Doner Kebab

No Turkish meal is complete without tea.

After lunch we boarded our bus for the trip to Bursa.
Jim and I visited Bursa last year and I was excited to have the opportunity visit again.
Our hotel for the evening was the Hotel Kent.
It was well located just across the street from the Grand Mosque.
The Grand Mosque was built in AD 402.
The mosque has an interesting history. The Sultan Bayezid I made a promise to build twenty mosques if he won the Battle of Nicopolis. Instead he built a single mosque with twenty domes.
(photo taken from breakfast room at the Hotel Kent)

The Grand Mosque is noted for its calligraphy.

The Grand Silk Bazaar is located adjacent to the Grand Mosque.

I bought several silk scarves in this shop last year.
This year I returned for more colors and patterns.
The shopkeepers are very helpful and will give you a good deal.

After shopping, tea in the courtyard was in order.
Outside the Grand Silk Bazaar (AD 402)

After shopping we took the gondola to the ski resort at the top of the mountains.
I was hesitant but glad I made the trip.

What to have for lunch?
I think I'll have the Grilled Sea Bass.

Jim had the house special.
The restaurant is outdoors by a stream.
There is a trout pond on the premises.
We ate here at night last year. The owner was very welcoming.

Following lunch we visited with family and friends of our Turkish hosts/traveling companions.
Yes, we just had lunch.
It is Turkish custom to offer food and tea to visitors.
The layer cake was homemade and awesome!

Time to catch the ferry at Mudanya for our return to Istanbul.
Boarding the bus for the airport in Istanbul.
Yes, there is an Irish Pub on the ground floor of the Ramada - Old City.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Istanbul 2012

Following a fun and exciting experience in Baku, Azerbaijan, our group stopped off in Turkey on the way home to the USA. My husband and I visited Turkey last year and I never imagined I would have the opportunity to return so soon.

Back in Istanbul

Our home in Istanbul.

Our group in front of the Blue Mosque

I didn't take many photos at the Blue Mosque - I had so many from last year's trip.

The Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia 
Built in 537 AD by Emperor Justinian.
It was a church for 916 years and then a mosque for 481 years.
In 1935 the Hagia Sophia became a museum.
The wonderful Christian mosaics were uncovered.

Outside the Hagia Sophia

Mosaics and Tiles

I love the feral cats of Turkey!
They are totally indifferent to visitors.

Here we are at Topkapi Palace

After a busy morning of sight-seeing we had lunch on the roof of this restaurant.

View from restaurant
Looking in the other direction.

Miniatures of historical Turkish buildings
Very realistic.

KimseYok Mu is a Turkish relief organization.

Turkish television station (Samanyolu).

This window was in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul!
So modern and "cute".

A fun afternoon of shopping at the Grand Bazaar!

Egyptian Spice Bazaar
Last year we missed the spice bazaar. This year Jim put in a special request.
Spices, dried fruit, nuts, tea, Turkish Delight.

Doesn't this look delicious?

The "spice bazaar" was built in 1664 located in the Golden Horn.
The fragrance and beauty are worth a visit.

Sharing photographs with the wait staff at dinner one evening.
The waiters in Turkey are amazing.

View from Ramada - Old City

Honey - breakfast buffet
Breakfast at the Ramada - Istanbul

We made a quick stop for a photo at the Black Sea.

From Istanbul we traveled by ferry to Yalova and on to Iznik (Nicea).
We spent the night in Bursa before returning to Istanbul.
I hope you will join me for the remainder of my recent travels in Turkey.