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We are ın Istanbul and Exploring on our own by Joe Selfridge

-17 °C

This may end up as the best part of all. Once you have seen a city with official guides and you have the ability to move about within the community , it is wonderful to just explore. Last night after a rather windıng and disjoınted stroll through some neighborhoods which are not on anyone's tour list we saw familıes at play and workers finishing up their week.
We eventually found an area wıth about two dozen eateries. The streets were strung with lights. Roving musıcians sang and played while patrons danced in the streets. It was very much like a cross between Havana and New Orleans.
We feasted on kabobs and lamb chops and eventually found our way back to the hotel after and arduous hill climbing. Today some are going to a museum and some are going to some bookstores near the bazaar which sell miniatures from Koran pages. We have our last formal tour this afternoon.
Tommorrow I hope to explore neighborhoods to listen and absorb.
The last stops on our tour turned out to be the most interestıng to me. Standing on the layers of Troy was especially powerful sınce this past school year some of my students attended a lecture at Penn by one of the archeologists who have worked extensively on the sight.
Finally, as a history teacher I was enthralled to stand upon the very grounds of the battles for Gallipolı and have the view whıch Ataturk had as he commanded the force. I purchased a hat which says (ın Turkish) Nobody Will Ever Cross the Channel. Carlos, after telling me what it saıd added that so long as one Turk, man woman or child ıs standing this will be so. As he said....that, my frıend, is Turkish nationalism. Carlos truly is my friend as is Mustafa. They showed us their country in every light ımaginable. As we parted he said....This is not Turkish hospitality..it is the love of family. I honestly felt it was true.

Posted by wacphila 23:44

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A footnote..as I came through Turkish customs, the young man saw my hat and smiled. He called a colleague over to show him the hat ,who, in turn, gave me the universal "thumbs up"!!

by wacphila

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