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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Our Journey from Canakkale to Ayvalik to Kalloni Bay

*June 14 2011*

From Canakkale we made our way to Ayvalik Province, Turkey in order to wait for the ferry boat that was going to take us to the Grecian Island of Lesbos or Lesvos (never sure on the spelling, Ive seen it both ways). The reason for our travel to Greece was to conduct some of our field research on native solitary honey bees. Particularly, we are interested in bees that feed on the nectar/ pollinate the native vitex and yellow star thistle plants in order to do a comparative study on them with an application for use in the U.S. where the plants are considered invasive.

We ended up getting to Ayvalik sooner than expected so we had time to waste in this seaside town over looking the Aegean sea. We found a great restaurant that let us pile up all our luggage in a corner and eat while overlooking the ocean. It was so picturesque! 

 We had such a great meal! Look at this pita bread, ughhhh I love Mediterranean food!
 I got some of these things, I cant remember what they are called, but they are like a flaky egg roll with feta cheeses and spinach (it tastes nothing like an egg roll, its sooooo much better!)
 Amanda ordered this interesting dessert. It was made out of egg noodles, butter, sugar and pistachios. It sounds crazy but I promise It was really good and I would never be able to make it, ever!
 The Restaurant.
 After we ate some of us needed to exchange our dollars for euros, so we walked about 10 minutes to the nearest bank. I was so proud of myself, I conduced my first fully Turkish exchange with the bank teller and it was successful! Haha! It was really strange, but I think I did pretty damn well. :)

Around five the ferry arrived to take us to Greece! We sat on the very top (3rd level) and had a spectacular view of Turkey and of Lesvos. The journey was something I'll never forget, we defiantly felt special for being able to see such beauty.

 AS soon as we crossed the Turkey-Greece border this flag went up!
 The Mytilini Port where we docked in Greece.

After a very stressful encounter with security in customs (whose drug dog tried to attack all of us) we successfully made it to our amazing hotel, cradeled between mountains, in the city of Kalloni. 
I've never slept harder in my life than after a full day of traveling and lugging around our bags...which consists of 12 bags for 9 people not to mention our hiking packs! 
I feel very lucky that I can take part in such a fantastically beautiful research trip with great people, although we do work hard, I promise!
<3 M

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