Showing posts from August, 2011

Bosphorus bliss

When the time came to cut the wedding cake, all eyes were drawn to the ceiling of the ballroom as the tiered white pastry descended from its hiding place. A dancer followed, dangling upside down to pour drinks into the guests’ outstretched flutes. Brides and grooms marrying at one of the magnificent 18th- and 19th-century palaces and mansions lining Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait can choose to celebrate in ballrooms where Ottoman royalty once got married. But the modern festivities can even outdo those of the sultans, who dispatched turtles with candles on their backs to light outdoor parties, paraded giraffes down the street, and set off fireworks for days on end to herald a palace member’s wedded bliss... As a journalist, I've had the opportunity to be exposed to many different worlds, those of homesteaders in Alaska, miners' families in West Virginia , and conservation biologists in eastern Turkey among them. But perhaps the most foreign experience to date was having Istan