Turkey: Istanbul & Turkey's Turquoise Coast

Two shows featuring:

Istanbul, Turkey: Everywhere in Istanbul is evidence of civilizations that tried to tame it. From the Romans to the Ottomans, this tumultuous city has seen it all, and its architecture, cuisine, and customs reflect that reality. Here, Christianity and Islam have their touchstones, and the cliché that “East meets West” at the Bosporus is a truism. Rudy tries to avoid buying a Turkish carpet—he admits he’s powerless to visit Istanbul without returning home with a rug—but, as usual, he fails. Prowl some of the Grand Bazaar’s 4,000 shops and spend some time with a professional shopper who teaches travelers the fine art of haggling. And can those Turkish carpets tell stories? Many do—stories of love and despair are woven in wool and color. Rudy gets steamed and scrubbed in a 16th century hammam, or public bath, and tours some of the world’s great buildings—Topkapi Palace, the Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque, and the downtown Spice Market. Be hypnotized by Whirling Dervishes, charmed by the Iznik art of ceramics, and learn how to buy a . . . carpet.

Turkey’s Turquoise Coast: Viewers will be forgiven for thinking the southern Turkish coast on the Mediterranean Sea more closely resembles the Italian countryside or Greek islands. That’s because the best Greek and Roman ruins are found in Turkey. Great, ancient towns of Ephesus, Antalya, Myra and Dalyan dot the Turkish coast, tempting visitors to step back into time when lavish Roman homes and markets dotted the landscape. Boarding a gulet, the traditional wooden Turkish boat, for a Blue Cruise, Rudy departs from the popular seaside town of Bodrum for a watery visit along the coast with stops to tour dramatic, historic ruins.

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