In August, Istanbul is an oven. The temperatures hover right around ninety degrees, but the swampy humidity and sweaty crowds that mob the sun-drenched city make it seem far hotter. Any place that provides the tiniest bit of shade or breeze becomes a refuge from the heat, be that a marble mosque, a rooftop terrace of a café in Sultanahment, the shady avenues of Gülhane Park, or the air conditioned hallways of a museum. Istanbul’s best place, though, to beat the heat can’t be found in any of those places; it’s underneath them.
I have been quite taken with Greek and Roman mythology for most of my life. My obsession started when my parents gave me a copy of Bullfinch’s Mythology for Christmas when I was in middle school. (I also got a very early start on my nerd street cred.) In high school, I loved reading Romeo & Juliet because it was inspired by the far older myth of Pyramus and Thisbe. In college, the literature of the British Romantic period was my favorite because of its many references to the old Grecian stories. Most people dream of seeing Starry Night and Mona Lisa, but I fangirled over Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss and Winged Victory of Samothrace. Ovid’s Metamorphoses is still one of my favorite books. (And while we’re at it, Hercules is my favorite Disney movie. That counts, right?) I think myths and legends are one of the most fascinating ways to learn about a place’s culture, but for whatever reason, Greece’s stories have always held a special place in my heart. Continue reading Throwback Thursday – Delos