Gear up for a nice long read about my week in Turkey! I love this country and I definitely want to go back some day. This wonderful place happens to lie halfway in Europe and halfway in Asia. So yes, of course I went to both sides. Even though I didn't necessarily experience Asian culture, you can bet that I'm checking it off as a continent I've stood on. No big deal. While in Turkey, we visited a lot of other places. We went to 18 different sites in 6 days... so we were busy busy busy. But we had fun fun fun.
We're in the big city now
The view out my window at our first hotel in Istanbul.
------------------------------------------We started off in Istanbul. This was my favorite place. It was colorful and busy and beautiful and the people were so nice. We went to the Blue Mosque, a cistern, and the Grand Bazaar and then ended the day with a mini cruise along the coast line and a nice dinner. It was a great, beautiful, exhausting day.
Me and Tess spent a lot of time together on this day
Okay. All you Bachelorette watchers. Remember that time when the chosen bachelorette (I think it was Ashley's season) had dinner with her date in the cistern?? We reenacted it! Cracked ourselves up.
Ferry rideThe next day we went to Gallipoli and Troy. Gallipoli is the place of a World War I battle between the Austrailians and the New Zelanders, and the Turks, and it is a beautiful place. It was sad to think about the events that took place there and kind of nice to study a World War I battle from the perspective of different countries. There was an older Turkish couple there that was so touched to see American students paying tribute to the Australians, New Zelanders, and Turks that were killed in the battle.
We were all really excited to go to Troy so we could take pictures in front of the giant replica horse from the movie Troy. But wouldn't you know it, when we pulled up the first thing we saw was a giant black tarp covering the horse that was currently being repaired. We still got to look at the ruins. Which was cool. I guess.
Then we went to our hotel.
While we were all in there talking and laughing, one of the girls randomly stopped and said, "You guys, I don't think I've ever had this many close friends." We all just kind of nodded in agreement and then continued talking. I love these girls.
The next morning we went to Assos, which is a place where Paul taught. This place was absolutely beautiful. It overlooked the Sea and we could see the Greek Islands in the distance. It was very peaceful to be up there.
It is very likely that Paul walked through these pillars
Amazing View. Lots of wind. Purchased a ring.
The next day we went to Ephesus. This place dates back to 1400 BC and lots of cool significant things happened there. Lots. So much that I can't remember even one of them. Whoops. It's fine, I'm just tired.
The next day it was cold and rainy and we went to Sardis. It was admittedly a little chilly, but I loved the rain! It made everything so much prettier. It was all green with the ruins so clear in the distance. Amazing.
I felt like I was in Scotland
The next day we went to Nicea, the place of the Council of Nicea and the Nicean Creed. It was freezing cold. Like 39 degrees or something ridiculous like that.
Then we went on another ferry ride and ventured to the Hagia Sophia back in Istanbul. It's now a museum so we walked around for a minute and then booked it to a mini bazaar close by. There were lots of awesome rugs and vases and stuff. My favorite thing of the whole night, however, were these little tiny cutest ever baby shoes. I was all geared up to by some for my nieces and nephews when the man told me the price and I dropped them like a hot potato. A picture will have to suffice. Just know that they are ten times cuter in real life.
Hagia SophiaAfter the baby shoe disappointment we were freezing our body parts off, so we ran to a little narrow street in search of a Cafe and we found one. It was little and quaint and we got yummy hot chocolate and baclava right before sprinting to the bus which whisked us away to a fish dinner and then the airport to head back to Jerusalem.
It was a whirlwind of a week. Full of lentil soup, gorgeous bus rides, lots of cool history, beautiful ruins, good conversations, funny moments, and life long memories.
Love you all.