Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Coming home

Breakfast on the terrace, couple from hotel across the street from our hotel. Little did I know when I was making my hotel reservation that we would be staying between the Blue Mosque and the Haghia Sophia. The hotel wasn't fancy, just very regular but expensive but the location was incredible. We could walk to all the major monuments. This was our first morning, we had just arrived the night before, night really isn't it, more like 1 in the morning. It was exhilarating, to be in Istanbul, Turkey. We've read and heard so much about and there we were, walking its streets....

The Blue Mosque on one side...

View of the where the Golden Horn meets the Bosporus and the Marmara sea. What an incredible view from the breakfast terrace of our hotel.

View of the Haghia Sophia on the other side... It's just walking distance and presto magico.... we're at the doorstep of one of the world's most famous church, later a mosque, now a museum.

This was another trip of enormous importance in my personal growth. I saw and experienced things and met people, both local and foreign that has forever changed my life. One must really go outside one's comfort zone in order to have different experiences. Initially I just wanted to see Istanbul for a few days, then the trip morphed into including Ephesus and Cappadocia. Even for Cappadocia I didn't want a canned experience like everyone else where they just visit Goreme's open air museum and all of us come back with the same stories and pictures. I found a private guide on the Internet, a German who has been in Cappadocia for the last ten years and is very knowledgeable of the hidden churches that the local guides are not. Understand the local guides are all Turkish and Muslim. Their knowledge and interest are divergent to mine. We met up in Goreme and for 3 whole days, we climbed, we hiked in the hot Cappadocian sun to look at churches hidden from the general public. Wow.... that made the difference. He didn't come cheap but for his expertise, I was willing to pay. I didn't begrudge him anything. We've made a friend in him and I'm eternally grateful to his passion for the churches of Cappadocia.
So for the next few months I'll take you on the same trip that we took. I pray that you too will find time and money to visit Turkey and especially Cappadocia.It's nothing you've ever seen in this world. It does have another worldly atmosphere to it.

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