Day 25 – Istanbul

I woke up at 6AM.  I couldn’t believe today I had to be at the airport.  WHY!??!!  I need just one more day to say good-bye properly.  As I plotted ways to miss my plane, to figure out a way to wash dishes and afford an apartment, I said my goodbye’s to the lucky remaining students bound for Greece and Italy, and boarded the shuttle to the airport.

Luckily, I had company on the bus to talk to to keep my eyes from wandering off to look out the window at the Bosphorus, Mosques, Palaces, Businesses, and people.  I think now in hindsight, I would have teared and went into a mad frenzy in order to be deemed un fit to fly so that I could have another day or two there.  :-p

At the airport, I checked my bags.  It was official, I was leaving and had no other way out.  I hugged our tour guide Deniz, telling her not necessarily goodbye….

Somehow, I know I’ll be back…


Day 16 Bursa

Our first stop was the Royal Ottoman Tombs in Muradiye.  Founder of the green in both ways city of Bursa, Orhan Gazi and his family are buried there.   There’s something very poetic about a life when seeing a tomb that is still cared for still after several  years where many Turkish men and women still come to pray.  Sad fact #22: I don’t even know where Amerigos Vaspucci or Christopher Columbus is buried…

Tomb of Orhan Gazi & Son in Bursa, Turkey

Then, we went to the (Bursa) City Museumwhere we saw a vast collection of the history of textile, art, fashion, and the city’s proud history.  Of course I’ve been a naive American simply learning a bit of Turkish as I go, but a visit to this museum will make you want to come again after learning to speak the language.

City Museum in Bursa, Turkey

We drove to the Cumalikizik Village where it was no longer like the suburbs but a step back 400 years in time.  The side by side mud houses lined cobblestoned hills and the friendly people welcomed us with open arms and houses.  We literally visited the inside of a woman’s home where she gave us pickled figs.  Unfortunately everyone wasn’t happy to see us.  There was one little boy who was quite cantankerous about having his photo taken.  So much so, he made it a point to come around to just shoo us away.  “Damien” was too cute!

We had lunch there, but I passed because the only thing I knew how to order was a pancake and we know what happened the last time I ordered a pancake!  Let’s just say, I could live my life in Turkey and say goodbye to pork forever, suffering with fresh cuisine and peda pizza over deep dish, but I would have to introduce Villagers to two of my close friends, Kraft and Tillamook.  I was lucky enough to find a corn cart on the way leaving and ate a cup full of fresh corn. 

After the village, we returned to the city and went to the Uluumay Museum.  The museum has a vast collection of authentic Turkish costumes, wardrobe, and jewelry collected from over the world.  We couldn’t take pictures, but that makes the memory engrained in my mind much heavier 🙂

The day ended with us back at the hotel where we took some R & R between researching potential markets in Turkey.  We (Kipenzi, Meredith, Yaneva, & I) took some time in the Sauna and went for a swim in the pool before dinner.  This would be our last night at the Kervansaray…  It was bitter sweet as we’d be leaving a fabulous hotel, but we’d be back in Istanbul!