Strategically located between Europe and Asia, Turkey has long been a crossroad of civilizations. It is also a land of contrasts, between modernity and orthodoxy, lush coastlines and arid mountains, thriving cities and remote villages. In these two sessions, Gerlinda Melchiori leads us on a journey, first to Istanbul, next along the Silk Road, and then to the borders of Armenia and other Middle Eastern neighbors. We will return through the ancient Greek and Roman settlements of the Southern Anatolian Riviera. On May 3 we will visit Istanbul. Located on two continents, this teeming metropolis is steeped in the biblical history of the Byzantine Empire. We will trace Istanbul's history from its entry point to the Silk Road, through its transformation from Orthodox Christianity's center to the Ottoman Empire's capital, to its evolution into the world's largest modern city. On May 10 we will travel through Turkey's sacred lands and modern resorts. As we journey across the country's length and breadth, we will cross the paths of Alexander the Great, the Persian Khans, Marco Polo, and St. Paul. We will visit historic Antioch, Taurus, and Ankara, as well as the cave dwellings of Cappadocia, Mounts Nimrud and Ararat, and the posh resorts of the Anatolian Riviera.