Greece and Turkey
A month in Greece (Athens, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes) and Turkey (Cappadocia, Ankara, Istanbul)
I'm back! Laura and I have returned from a month's travel through Greece and Turkey. Being self-employed, I haven't really taken much vacation in recent years; Laura provided momentum for this trip she had just earned an extra 2 weeks vacation plus a bonus of a month's pay upon the 10th anniversary of her employment at the law firm where she works. (I guess 9 to 5 jobs have their silver lining.)
Much to my surprise, I came back to find that my apartment in San Francisco was still standing. The Loma Prieta earthquake, five days earlier, had left it untouched, not a hair out of place. By contrast, the building housing my downtown mailbox 160 California was condemned and subsequently demolished! My neighborhood had almost no damage in the 10/17/89 quake or in 1906. What the news media did not communicate was that damage was highly localized; the quake had little lasting effect except for the Bay Bridge (which was repaired in time for Thanksgiving), the 880 double-decker freeway (which won't be replaced for 2+ years!), and areas built on landfill.
We had a few adventures on our trip. We crossed the Bosphorus by ferry, rode a camel, lay on gorgeous beaches, and plumbed the depths of the earth in a deep cavern called "Heaven and Hell", for the 6th century church deep within. By jet, rental car, train, bus, ferry, and foot we made our way through the cradle of civilization, looking for discarded baby toys. We saw many: Greek ruins, medieval castles, palaces, churches, mosques, Greek temples, underground cities, bazaars, real Turkish baths ... I think the sleeping compartment we had on the night train to Istanbul was the most fun.
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