About two weeks after Camp ACT, my friend Grace and I took a quick holiday to Turkey! We started on the Mediterranean coastal town of Cesme and relaxed by the beach for a few days. After the craziness of two Summer Camps and school, this was the beach time that I was really needing. Also, we were pretty 'whimsical' about our hostel plans, and just decided to find one when we arrived. We hit the jackpot, finding a perfect B&B with fantastic hosts, wonderful (and amazingly priced) accommodations, right near the center of this small town. The whole time we were on the coast we didn't see any other English speaking tourists, which made the adventure all the more fun! (Luckily, Grace studied in Turkey and knows more Turkish than she gives herself credit for)
|Wine Tasting in Alacati|
|The really small town next to Cesme|
After our time on the coast, we spent a day at Ephesus. Originally an ancient Greek city, later a major Roman city, this . The grandeur of it all was the first thing that surprised me, but also the fact that anybody could really just climb and crawl on anything. Not really the same as when I was in Athens last summer... When you think Ephesus, think Temple of Artemis (One of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World), think Gospel of John, think Revelations, think Paul's letters to the...Ephesians. Cool stuff for sure.
Then we made our way to Istanbul. My heart yearns to return to Istanbul. I remember saying really passively to my friends that I wanted to go to Istanbul and Grace said, "I'd love to go back". She studied abroad there, and once arriving, I immediately understood her excitement to return. Istanbul, to say the least, is full of history and energy that makes it one of the most exciting places in Europe. The people are so causal, always sipping tea with potential customers, watching tourists take in the sites and sounds. Five times a day, the call to prayer allows everybody to hear and take in culture all around. The food was wonderful, the people were multilingual and seemed so happy, and the buses, the buses were air-conditioned -- Turkey was fantastic!
|Inside Sultanahmet's Mosque (The Blue Mosque)|
First a church, then a mosque, now a museum!
|Another view of the Blue Mosque|
|Spices at the bazaar!|