|Discovering the Taksim area by night|
Merhaba. Smile, gesture, nod. In the city that truly never sleeps, my desire for communication is reduced to pleasant body language, indicating my cultural respect and utter amazement in this tourist state. Sure speaking English and German is perfectly practicable here, however in these moments I wanted to remain contemplative in my observations. The fathest east I have ever traveled, the city of Istanbul permeates with sense-stimulating air, a quality that can only be achieved from a mixture of historical richness and modernizing change. Not surprisingly, we were surrounded by a westernized capitalistic environment, which had its perks to find quaint book shops and cafes, but after a while you get tired of being seen as the foreigner with money to spend. Yet Gabe and I survived the rapid pace of touristic shopping- as it was the 'official' shopping spree month in Istanbul- to find pleasantries in the small and unique characteristics of this lively city.
|Wishing folklore in Hagia Sopia|
|Joining a German group tour of the Blue Mosque|
|Pete, Andrea, Gabe and I|
|Lindsey will always be the Beste|
(sorry, still can't help the pun)
Jumping to where I am momentarily, I would just like to mention my brief stay in Athens. On Friday I took an unbelievable 18 hour bus ride from Istanbul to stay in Athens for one day, because later today I will be making my way to Epidavros for the week-long Kufstein Summer School. In less than 24 hours, I recouped and enjoyed the luxury of traveling. I explored the remarkable Akropolis ruins, not far from my delightful hostel stay; then at night I enjoyed the company of a grandfatherly Turkish antique carpet collector, Mustafa, for an evening of good food, drink and conversation. In Athens, the sun is bright and my energy is bursting for all the discoveries of the day. I hope your days are as filled with sunshine and joy!
|Roaming the site of the Akropolis-breathtaking!|