This post is originally from June 21, 2014
The last five days have been a whirlwind of travel and sightseeing. After leaving Selcuk we headed north to the layered cities of Troy. Apparently Brad Pitt starred in a movie about what happened here and some people were super excited to get into the giant wooden Trojan horse that was used in the movie.
By the time we reached the city of Canakkale I became pretty ill. I think the combo of heat from the previous day and the winding roads threw me off my A-game. Needless to say I sat one night out of festivities and jumped back on board the next day.
On our way back to Istanbul we stopped off at Gallipoli – ANZAC Cove where many Aussies and Kiwis lost their lives in the First World War. Rows upon rows of mass graves definitely puts life into perspective.
Coming back to Istanbul has been bitter sweet. It is a beautiful city with so much see and do. But this is where the group tour ends and again this has left me with more than one soaked Kleenex. You sure become close to people you’ve only known for a short period when you travel. I am so lucky to have been able to travel with yet another amazing group. There has been so much laughter and memories made with these people and it breaks my heart when I have to say good bye.
Yesterday I was able to take a ferry to a nearby island called Princes Island that sits in the Bosphorus straight that leads to the Black Sea. When getting there you literally have one land mass of Asia on one side and Europe on the other. This island was seriously super cute. No vehicles exist on it and people get around on horse drawn carriages, bicycles and the most authentic of all…a handicapped motorized chair thing that you see in shopping centres. One was the ultra delux version that was pimped out in extra seats and a plastic
covering for rainy weather.
I have to say that I think Turkey is the cleanest country I’ve ever visited. Wherever you go people are constantly picking up garbage, cleaning the streets and even washing the public vehicles. For a city of a ridiculous population as well as the most tourists in the world this place is pretty immaculate. But what is difficult are the Syrian refugees. Families wearing bits of rags are sprawled out on the ground with their Syrian passports open so you can see they are ligit. It breaks my heart to see these people. The image of a five year old looking boy barefoot while rocking a tiny baby will be one that will be difficult to shake from my mind. Unlike other places I’ve been these children are happy when you give them food. I bought corn from a vendor for a bunch of them and the looks in their eyes were simply
priceless. (Don’t worry the corn was cooked and salted)
Anyway, these past few weeks were truly unforgettable and like all my adventures not only do I learn about the place I’m visiting but I learn and grow as a person too.
As they say in Turkey “sherrifay” (spelling is def wrong) which means CHEERS!