April 20, 2005 - May 04, 2005

Day 01
April 20,  2005 Istanbul, Turkey
The text and the picture is submitted by
Claire Milton  e mail
Wednesday, April 20 Journal entry:
A 3:00 PM meeting in the Hotel Ayasofya's pleasant lobby begins our two week photography adventure with Meli, our fearless leader for this time together.  It is a time to see the group together for the first time, to review the agenda for Istanbul, the first three days, and to understand expectations.
At 4:00 we leave by van for Istanbul's version of "Happy Hour".  We are introduced to relaxing with tea, appetizers and the "water pipe" at Parma Nargile.  We find that all age groups enjoy this after work, after school method of transitioning from work to leisure.  This was a source of experimentation and photography.  The "water pipe" was a new experience for most of us and we couldn't resist trying it.
After the 5:00 call to prayer we head for the Blue Mosque.  It was breath taking in size and even more interesting with Meli's story telling explanation.  My imagination was captured.
Next to the Blue Hotel terrace and panoramic views of the old city, the Blue Mosque, Aya Sophia, and the Bosporus.  Dinner followed in the dining room.  Dinner was delicious and beautifully presented .
Today is Mohammed's birthday with a special service at the Blue Mosque which many of our group attended.
So begins our Turkish adventure!
Claire Milton