Wednesday, August 26, 2009

living by the water, living at the beach

on september 5th (i finally decided!) i'm going to hop on a bus at take off for fethiye, the fulcrum of the turkish turquoise coast. in doing so, i'll be fulfilling a long desire to visit this strip of gorgeous mediterranean sunshine, sand, and relaxation.

i'm looking forward to my reunion with the coastline, as i've been thoroughly homesick for blacks, the shores, and our fave "private" beach in santa cruz. i'm nervous to travel by myself, but determined to get to the beach asap. being next to the water, soaking up the sun -just makes me so happy and is the ONLY way i want to spend my 2oth birthday :).

came across this article today. it's a story that made me smile, and zero news about iraq has been smile-worthy (especially in the last few weeks). since it's sort of relevant to this blogpost:


Monday, August 24, 2009

a wondeful weekend

got a lot of good things done this weekend!! i've been itching to get out of istanbul -- just for the sake of travel. on saturday, tony (one of my flatmates) and i went to the bus station and hopped on a bus to edirne, a couple of hours out of istanbul. edirne is situated righhttt on turkey's border with greece, and its famous for the selimiye camii, and the 2 rivers that pass through it and form much of the natural border with greece.

so after the UBERRRR comfortable bus ride to edirne (the bus system in turkey is super developed. its nicer, in my opinion, than flying on a plane. first off, you get to SEEE everything you pass by, whereas in a plane for the most part i'm looking out the window to clouds. secondly, the seats are more comfortable, i get more free snacks, and on some buses they even offer internet!) anyways we got into the city and our first stop was the selimiye mosque. here's a pic of me there:

selimiye is most famous for its dome, which exceeds the diameter of the dome of aya sofya, and thus fulfills the lifelong ambition of truly epic ottoman architect mimar sinan. when i walked in, i decided it was THE most beautiful mosque i've ever been in. in a close 2nd is yeni camii, built by one of sinan's talented successors.

after the mosque we grabbed some çay in the town's central area and planned our next steps: another mosque and then to the river. but first, there were PEACOCKS! :)!

okay this mosque is famous for its giant calligraphy. super cool.

then, a lot of walking to get to the river. passed over 2 bridges (including the one pictured below) to get to the nice little lokanta that we enjoyed for a few hours. it was soooo calm, so quiet, so relaxing. what a change from the çok kalabalık (very crowded - 20 million people) nature of istanbul life.

i have no pictures of this, but on our way back from edirne i was awakened by a lot of shouting/singing/chanting. i was really confused about what was going on - i thought maybe a demonstration? (haha, this was a sort of silly conclusion. since i pass demonstrations on my way to class almost daily, i just assumed oh okay! another demonstration!) turns out it was actually a send-off party for military service - just a community cheering off one of their young men.

anyways, the next day we set off to go swimming in the bosphorus. tony, volkan, esther and i got on a ferry to the asian side, hopped a dolmus to beykoz and took off an a smallll chartered boat. within seconds at our first stop, this was me and esther:

just BEING in the water again was amazing. goodness i've missed it! (still missing the ocean!) but this reminder of how happy the water makes me really influenced the decision to spend my 10 free days on the turkish turquoise coast.

tony and esther above. me, enjoying an apple below.

volkan with our captain! volkan is wearing the cap but is NOT our captain! haha

okkieee dokie! after a weekend of adventuring, i was itching for more! so i'm setting off with volkan this evening for his hometown of ankara. we arrive late friday night and early saturday morning we go camping somewhere between ankara and istanbul. monday morning, i'll be back in town for my last week of tomer turkish language courses! till then :).