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A Postulant in the Abbey

Well, so long Vienna: with your cool retro cars in mint condition... your ludicrous deserts, especially your ice cream pasta... your every second store selling chocolate... your literal translations... your cafe signage... ...your naked people running through the streets. This…

One More Embellishment and We’re Done

Six statues? Six statues? I asked for eight statues. This is a disaster!   If there’s nothing to do in Vienna there’s a museum you haven’t seen. There is even a Third Man museum (which, alas, is open once a…

Cue Harry Lime Theme

The Valens Aquaduct: Goodbye Istanbul. IST to VIE, TK1885: We were checked out of the hotel at 8:30 without breakfast. It was sunny and steaming up but the city doesn’t really come alive before noon. We had booked a comfortable…

Now It’s Istanbul Not Constantinople…

Why did Constantinople get the works? That's nobody’s business but the Turks. Of course I’ve been waiting a week to write that. Above: Christ healing the paralytic at Capernaum.  What parable is that? A shout out to Jarome for recommending…

Don’t Miss This Splendid Tour

An inscription which means “I am the city of learning and Ali is its gate.”   Part of an exceptional collection of Islamic scripts we saw in the afternoon. The one above, a long elegant scroll, painfully detailed, is simply a…

Courtyard of Favorites

June 1 already! Feral cats are to Istanbul what vending machines are to Tokyo. Today after breakfast we returned to Sultanahmet to the Topkapi Palace, the royal residence of sultans for over 400 years from the mid-1400s to the mid…

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