Monday, February 6, 2012

While staring in awe at probably the hundredth ionic column of the Western Anatolia tour , I remember the trip I took to Scotland when I was eleven and how my mother had to force me out of the bus (I was reading) to see the standing stones.

  I'm so glad she did. I'm even more glad I no longer need anyone to force me to  get out and walk through the skeletons of past civilizations.

For ten days last week, I was immersed in history.  I was introduced to necropolises, acropolises, and agoras. Better yet, I know what all those words mean now.  I don't think I have ever enjoyed walking through history this much.  Stories seem to come to life as you realize that people completely forgotten to history were born, raised, and buried around the same scenery you are enjoying at that very moment.

Necropolis at Pumukkale

Stadium at Aspendos
Hot Springs at Pamukkale

My first glimpse of the 

My new favorite word is Agora! 

Possibly my favorite place we visited: theater at Aspendos

Bodrum Castle by the Mediterranean 

Appolo's temple

Church of St. Nicholas

Of course the tour was amazing, but my favorite part of my winter break was the five days I spent at my friend Jane's home in Istanbul. I had a good time shopping, seeing movies, and going paintballing! (my computer says that's not a  word) However, it didn't matter what we did. As long as we were together (Me, Jane and her host brother) we were having a good time. those crazy kids even made bus rides fun! 

The highlight of the whole trip for me was the last day. I wanted to see the Grand Bazaar and Jane's host Mom wanted a special type of coffee so we went to one of the more touristy parts of Istanbul. At first it wasn't so much fun. We went to the most crowded square I've ever been to... I won't even try to explain how crowded it was.  Despite all difficulties we got the coffee and walked to Sultan Ahmet square. Jane's host brother bought everyone salep and we watched the sun set. It was suggested we visit Sultan Ahmet Cami (The Blue Mosque). I wasn't that excited. The first time I went there it had been very hot adn crowded and we were rushed through. I also felt strange going in to a working mosque as a tourist.

This time, however was completely different.  The minarets were lighted up for the evening and the atmosphere around the mosque was very calm.  Unlike last time, there was no line to get in and there was no hurry as we took off our shoes and Jane and I put on blue headscarves given away at the entrance. Once inside we looked around and took pictures, but we didn't want to leave.  "Let's sit down" Furkan suggested. so we all sat in silence and admired the beautiful blue tiled ceiling the mosque was named after.  

We ended up talking about religion (you couldn't have chosen a better back drop) and I left the mosque feeling this was an excellent end to an excellent winter break. 

No comments:

Post a Comment