So far, our journey (no matter how sporadic it may have been) has taken us through Asia. From China to the Middle East we've wandered, discovering dumplings and pastries, fresh mint dishes and strange delights most of us would never touch with a 39 1/2 foot pole.
We now find ourselves at a crossroads. Not quite out of Asia and yet not quite into Europe. Turkey sits along the borders of both. Though technically a European country, there is much about Turkey that remains shrouded in mystery (as much of Eastern Europe tends to be to Westerners). Perhaps that's what has always drawn me to this country. Or perhaps I'm mesmerized by it's landmarks and natural phenomena:
the Blue Mosque
It could be the idea of feasting on lamb kabobs and fresh yogurt or indulging in a bracing cup of Turkish coffee. Sweet mint tea is also on the menu, and heaven knows how much I LOVE mint! Or my attraction with this country could be the legend that Vlad Dracul was once imprisoned here by the Ottoman Army. According to this story, Vlad's hatred for the Ottomans grew and when he returned to Eastern Europe to set up his rule, his time in imprisonment prompted his cruel and rather unusual methods of displaying his conquered foes.
Whether or not the legend of Vlad the Impaler (who we all know and love as the inspiration for Count Dracula) had any connections with this country or not, there is still an air of mystery that surrounds it. I've held an almost sacred desire to spend time in the city once known as Constantinople, to explore it's many markets. Most of all, I wish to sit outside at a cafe, find out for myself if Turkish coffee is as strong as it is legendary, and watch the many wonders of this melting pot of civilization.
Won't you join me?
PS: Speaking of joining me, my new writing-centric blog is up and running! Pop on over for a cuppa at Widdershins and Skeleton Keys.