Sunday, March 25, 2012

Welcome to everyone interested in travel to Turkey!

From January 9-20, 2013, Professor Katherine Shaner and I will co-lead a trip to Asia Minor (modern Turkey). The trip is organized by Illume Travel of Boston and details (including costs and registration) are here.

The purpose of this blog is initially to provide information about the trip. Prior to the trip, participants can get to know each other and the group as a whole through the blog. We will then hold a webinar nearer to the departure to cover final details.

We will fly into Izmir (ancient Smyrna) and travel south to Miletus and Didyma before we visit Ephesus for a day and a half.

Then we will travel through Aphrodisias, Laodicea and Hiearapolis after which we will visit the largest synagogue in Asia Minor at Sardis. We will continue travelling north through ancient Troy and conclude the trip with 3 days in Istanbul to take in Byzantine churches that are now museums (Hagia Sophia and the Church of Our Savior in Chora), mosques (Blue Mosque), TopKapi palace, the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market.

To help participants prepare for the trip, we will cover each site in a different blog post and supply appropriate bibliographical resources and links.

Plans for the blog
I want to end the first post of this new blog by sharing more information about Hagia Sophia. This link comes from a blog post of March 23rd (last Friday) attached to a current exhibit, Byzantium and Islam at the Metropolitan Museum of NYC, on display until July 2012. I will blog the exhibit --which I have now visited twice-- in a future post.

Also in future posts, Prof Shaner and I will create an FAQ about the trip and visiting Turkey; information about Turkish history and Turkey today (ranging from politics to football and food); rudimentary Turkish and useful phrases to know.

In the meantime, please post comments and questions you might have. Thanks!

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