Kaftans & Coverups
In 2011 we visited Istanbul for the first time where I discovered exquisite jewelry, textiles and clothing for the store. I had been buying things from importers in Europe for some years, but to go straight to the source was a dream come true. After several days in Istanbul, we visited friends who have a seaside home in Alacati and stayed in the charming inn pictured above. Turkey has a fascinating and complex history (like every country) and exploring a few of it's cities and experiencing the culture and history was very moving. At the crossroads of East and West, Turkey has been home to a number of diverse peoples and religions. The Temple of Hadrian, shown here, is located in Ephesus, a Greek colony founded in the 10th century BC eventually becoming the second most important city in the region after Constantinople. From pre Christian times when Cleopatra visited, through biblical times and today, the region is full of fascinating sites. The apostles Paul and John as well as the Virgin Mary lived here and made their mark. Centuries later in the 14th century the tides turned when the Ottoman Empire gained control over the region and further into central Europe. I recently learned that coffee culture was introduced into Vienna after the Ottomans were defeated in the 17th century; in retreat they left coffee beans behind. Coffee was an important beverage to middle eastern cultures, believed to have been discovered by a 15th century Sufi mystic in Ethiopia.