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x0x A Turkish Idyll Lost in Time

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    x0x A Turkish Idyll Lost in Time By LIESL SCHILLINGER LATE on a peaceful night in May, on a quiet island in the Sea of Marmara, I walked alone on a curving
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 9, 2011
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      x0x A Turkish Idyll Lost in Time

      By LIESL SCHILLINGER

      LATE on a peaceful night in May, on a quiet island in the Sea of Marmara,
      I walked alone on a curving street edged by walls dripping with ivy.
      Behind the walls, palms and red pines loomed above Ottoman mansions that
      drowsed in the leafy darkness. With no sound but my own footsteps, I
      continued down a slope that led to my seafront hotel. Then I paused. Ahead
      of me, in the half-light cast by a streetlamp, I saw a cluster of tall,
      undulant shapes at the turning. .Women, or horses?. I wondered. Nearing, I
      nodded: horses. And then I laughed out loud. How on earth, in the 21st
      century, was it possible for me, or for anyone, to succumb to such poetic
      confusion? It was possible only on an island like the one where I found
      myself: the island of Buyukada, an hour.s ferry ride from Istanbul, a
      place where time stands still.

      For more than a millennium, Buyukada has lured travelers from the Golden
      Horn to its lush hillsides, dramatic cliffs and romantic coves. Only two
      square miles in size, Buyukada, population 7,000, is the largest island in
      a green, hilly archipelago that rises from the Sea of Marmara like a
      convoy of basking turtles. The islands . known as the Princes, or, in
      Turkish, Adalar . are actually a far-flung district of Istanbul, but
      unlike the city on the mainland, with its roaring traffic, Wi-Fi-ready
      cafes, skyscrapers, and galleries and concerts that court a global
      audience, they haven.t seemed to have gotten the text message that the
      21st century has arrived. It isn.t entirely clear that the message about
      the 20th has arrived, either. To set foot on Buyukada is to enter a living
      diorama of the past, wholly preserved. There are no Starbucks here, no
      skyscrapers, no cars; only bicycles, horse-drawn buggies (called faytons),
      filigreed mansions and tile-roofed villas set amid flowery lanes, and
      emerald hillsides that drop down to rugged beaches.

      [ Read the whole article with photographs at:

      http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/travel/buyukada-near-istanbul-is-an-island-idyll.html
      ]
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