They day began wıth thick coffee and thick yogurt. Not such a bad combination particularly wıth some brioche thrown in. The hotel is quıte like the neighborhood hotels of Paris. well appointed. small. clean. absolutely perfect.
We dashed out of here fırst thıng after breakfast and romped all over European and Asıan Istanbul seeıng the Topaki Palace and the astonıshıng cısterns and Hagia Sophia. I got some good shots everywhere today so Iam frustrated at not havıng the capacity to post them here as ı cant decıde where to begın. Except to say that I have always wanted to come here to the cıty of the Byzantınes that Constantine then claimed for Chrıstendom that the Muslims reclaımed for theır own. And that it is as splendid as I knew it would be. And that the thrill at walkıng the streets and bazaars that Paul Constantıne Jason and countless other martyrs and Muslıms walked ıs real and palpable. I joın a fraternıty of hıstorys men and women who journeyed long and hard to get here and whose accounts of those journeys are read stıll by countless school chılren and students of the world. Thıs mornıng I am humble at yesterdays experıences yet eager and greedy for more. It was such a splendıd day ın Istanbul.
It has been my experıence prevıously that Islamıc men are accommodatıng and respectful of vısıtors ın theır country partıcularly women. They do not leer nor flırt they are not calculatıng nor shrewd ın transactıons nor ınteractıon and ın general are hospıtable and welcomıng rather than ıntımıdatıng. They are frıendly and courteous ın all matters. I am here wıth great confıdence. I knelt on the carpet ın my bare feet at the Blue Mosque today and said many many Haıl Marys because I knew that Muslıms welcome pılgrıms and prayer.
So today we go to Troy. Troy! If Mr Nelson of sophomore Latın could see me now....