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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Traveling to Turkey

Wow. Its been a very hectic three days. We have been going and going and going and trying to get sleep here and there when we can.
We boarded or first plane on 6/10/11 and went to the DFW airport from Oklahoma, we then proceeded to London airport on a nine hour fight! The London airport looked like a mall and had the most extensive security ever. It was huge and there was an extreme diversity of nationalities. In London I really started loosing track of time since I didn't get a wink of sleep on the nine hour flight. From London we had a four hour flight to Istanbul! When we landed in Istanbul everything changed. Soon we got lost in the language and it became harder to communicate.
After buying my Turkish visa I saw poll boxes for the Turkish citizens. We arrived in Turkey during a political presidential election, so that's why they were encouraging voting (since Turkey is a democratic society) at the airport. Also, another interesting fact is that they make consumption of alcohol illegal 24 hrs prior to the presidential election. So, on Sunday 6- 12-2011 most people do the voting and cannot drink alcohol and on 6-13-2011, the new president is elected.

We then boarded a bus to the Hotel Turkuaz which was a home built by a Sultan (at some point it was renovated,but it was mostly kept in tact) is now run by a very sweet Turkish woman. The rooms were ornate and comfortable and all of us were thrilled about having air conditioning, which is a luxury!

 We then went and walked around the central part of the town where the Blue Mosque and the Haj Sophia are built.

 It was beautiful! We ate at a local "fast food" restaurant. I shared a vegetarian meal with Rich. It was so good, it consisted of Hummus, grape leaves with some kind of wild rice, and a mixed vegetable dish.


 We walked around a bit and heard the evening Muslim prayers that were projected through speakers resonating through the city. (video soon)
The street vendors remind me of people in Mexico, they work for their money and are really good at getting you (or tricking you ) into buy things.
The ice cream salesmen put on shows for people and play tricks on you before you buy your ice cream. Some of my travel buddies got ice cream and the man basically made me buy ice cream I didn't originally want. After a bit of peer pressure I caved in. It was a fun experience. You defiantly pay more for the show than the ice cream because it ended up being 7,50 lira. Which is pricey. It was some mix of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla with chocolate drizzle and pistachios (which they put on almost every sweet treat). It was strange, it tasted really gooey like it was a mix of milk and gelatin.Hopefully soon I can get the video uploaded.

Then after sitting on planes for hours on end we finally got to sleep on a bed! Sleep was so sweet!

<3 M

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