August of 1999 in Batman, Turkey for the last Solar Eclipse of the Millennium.  

Again hooked up with the Ring of Fire folks from Houston.  

We flew from Orlando to New York, and after a few hours, we departed for Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. The flight was a long one, but just fine.  Their coach seats had more room than any US carrier coach class.    

A couple of evenings I set out from the upscale hotel downtown, and walked alone through the streets of Istanbul, taking in the night life.   



One mosque is the one featured in the film From Russia With Love .

We flew from Istanbul to a NATO airbase near the Iraqi border.   From there we took buses into the town of Batman.  Click HERE to go to the Batman page.  Our arrival there was great.  The town is not often visited by outsiders, it's mostly an industrial city.  Our welcome was surprising, and impressive. 

Everything you have heard about Turkish hospitality is true. The rooms were comfortable and everything seemed just fine until I opened the closet door.  Inside was a complete wardrobe of someone else's clothes.  I went down to the front desk, and the man there was very embarassed and apologetic.  He explained people who had been living in the hotel had been moved out in order to accomodate us.  

Besides the eclipse, we experience the underground cities of Cappadoccia (amazing...).  I also got a good look at the back streets and alleys of Urfa, thanks to a new friend and Guide Mehmet Ali.   He led me though a complex maze of Bazaar aisles and alleys to show me a caravanserai hundreds of years old.  It was way off the beaten tourist path but people still live in it today.