Stories on Stones

Stories on Stones

At a time like this, when half the world is on lockdown because of the pandemic, when civility and decency and the very foundations of democracy seem at risk in the face of racist populism and rabid know-nothingness, when the planes are grounded and we can barely venture out of our houses, when our ‘advanced’ [...]

Life in Lockdown

Life in Lockdown

I am startled and yet not surprised, in returning to my blog, that almost a hundred days (of solitude, I am tempted to add, in the spirit of Marquez) have passed since my last post. Last time I wrote we were 10 days into the lockdown, and the number of reported cases in South Africa [...]

Staying Home during the Lockdown – Day 10

Staying Home during the Lockdown – Day 10

It is Day 10 of the Covid-19 lockdown, here in South Africa, and autumn is in the air in Johannesburg. It has been an intense week of work, and the calm and quiet are strangely welcome. I say strangely, because the times are not normal, and we stay home not by choice but because we [...]

What to do in a lock-down?

What to do in a lock-down?

What to do in a lock-down? This is a question to myself, you'll be glad to hear, not another of those claims to instant expertise, sunny wisdom, righteous outrage or uniquely personal angst or fear that seem to be spreading around the globe with the speed and virulence of, well, a Coronavirus or a Donald [...]

The Bosphorus Ferry

The Bosphorus Ferry

On the Bosphorus Ferry For a couple of weeks now I have been meaning to post these images from a ferry ride up the Bosphorus - there are plenty of sight-seeing trips you can book, to explore Istanbul from the water, but the ferry is the simplest and most affordable, offering a two-hour round-trip from [...]

Fish sandwiches by the Galata Bridge

Fish sandwiches by the Galata Bridge

For cheap, fast and filling you can't beat a fish sandwich down by Istanbul's Galata Bridge. It's a hugely popular snack, often eaten with a glass of pickle juice to wash it all down. I recommend the sandwich, but won't vouch for the pickle juice! Eating a fish sandwich off the boat by Istanbul's Galata [...]

Istanbul Archeological Museums

Istanbul Archeological Museums

Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, is as we all know a modern yet ancient and historic city planted at the crossroads of East and West. So it is not surprising, I guess, given its history and place, that the collection of antiquities held in the three institutions that make up Istanbul's Archeological Museums is quite extraordinary - [...]

Istanbul Lokanta

Istanbul Lokanta

The lokanta is the place to eat, if you are an ordinary citizen of Istanbul, looking for something affordable, delicious, and nourishing to fill your tummy and keep you going. Rob and I popped into our neighbourhood lokanta one evening, and were not disappointed. And boy, do those cooks and servers work hard! Lokanta, Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul is an underground wonder, an engineering marvel, dating back to the 6th century. Guidebook photographs show serried columns eerily surrounded by water, echoed in their watery reflections. The water had been drained, unfortunately, when we were there, for repairs, so some of the magic was missing, at least to my [...]