Final day: Music and dance in Turkey

Today, out of many, was one of my favorite days. We started off by waking up late, followed by breakfast, which at this hotel, is amazing. Then, we got in our mini tour bus, (to be able to fit into the mini streets needed to get to all the places today), and we were off to our Turkish belly dancing class. Our class was located in, what I thought, was the coolest place in Istanbul. I would describe it as the Soho of Istanbul.

After a mighty flight of stairs, we made it to the dance studio and began to warm up. After an hour and a half and a whole dance choreography later, we finished the class and went to lunch.

After lunch we went on a little ferry or boat and had a tour of the strait of Bosphorus. We saw everything from mosques to mansions and some super awesome, family summer homes.

We then went back to the hotel and had free time, which I spent drinking heaps of coffee to help me stay awake for the rest of today and tomorrow. After some chill time, we went to a dinner/performance, which was amazing.

We watched Turkish folk dancing and Turkish belly dancing and even got a nice little knife show, which Vinny participated in! Once that was over, we came back to the hotel, packed our things, and left for the airport at 3 am. Turkey is one of the most beautiful and culture filled countries I have ever been to. This trip will be forever remembered!

Savannah McMenamin

Day 14: Back in Istanbul

Today was our second to last full day in turkey. We left Bursa at 8:00a.m. to go back to Istanbul where we started our journey in Turkey. About an hour and a half later we got on a ferry to cross a small straight, the ferry ride took approximately 45 minutes.

On the way to Istanbul we crossed a bridge coming from the Asian part of Turkey where we spent most of our trip to the European part of Turkey. Then around 11:50a.m. we arrived in Istanbul.

After settling in we were allowed free time so we can do all our last minute shopping for the things we needed and presents for our family and friends. At 6:30p.m. we had dinner as usual, after dinner we all separated into our groups to on our projects.

Our experience in Turkey as been amazing we have learned and seen so many new things that we had know idea about. Tomorrow is our last full day in Turkey we are all sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful things about Turkey.

Sabrina Liddle

 

Day 13: Religion and history of the Ottoman city Bursa

Today was our first, and only full day in Bursa. We started off our morning by visiting the Ulu Cami Mosque. Inside, there was a large fountain for those who wished to partake in the traditional Muslim cleansing rituals before their prayers. Next we went to the Green Tomb, a mausoleum, which originally held the body of the fifth Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed I. The building was entirely painted blue on the outside, and had many small carvings across the entrance. Inside were three blue and green tombs, all carefully inlaid with jade and turquoise. The detail with which each of the tombs were created was amazing to see in person. Despite the rooms lighting being low, the metallic shine of them still caught everyone’s eye. The last thing on our group agenda was another Mosque. This one was much smaller than the first and had distinctly different tiled walls, built much before the time of the first mosque we visited, the Sultan Ahmed.

After we made our rounds through all the required stops, the group was given some free time. I chose to go with Mrs. Martinelli and a few of the other girls to the Turkish Hamam (the Turkish Baths). Wanting to get the full experience, I signed up for a scrub as well as general admittance to the pool. The scrub was a bit harsh but overall the experience was worth it. The rest of the afternoon was eating lunch and packing up our suitcases before dinner to be ready for the return trip to Istanbul in the morning.

Elizabeth Burdge

Day 12: Traveling to Bursa, stopping in Sardes

Today was mostly composed of traveling on a bus, leaving the little town of Pumakkale and sitting on a bus to the city of Bursa. We left at the early time of 8:00 am and left the really nice hotel. On the way however we stopped at a little ruin site of an ancient city called Sardes. This was a very prosperous city during the Ancient Roman times due to the amount of gold that ran through it’s rivers while also being the home of the largest Synagogue during the Roman times due to all of the Jewish traders. The myth behind all the gold is that the home of King Midas was up the river in the city of Gordan. When King Midas tried to cleanse himself in the river, all the surrounding sediment turned to gold, at least according to the legends. The most famous part of the ruins was the gymnasium which featured an indoor swimming pool, well at least the ruins. About two hours after the ruins we stopped and ate lunch at a gas station restaurant which was surprisingly very good. At about 4:30 we arrived in Bursa, the fourth largest city in Turkey with about population of 2-3 million. We took a little walking tour through this extremely busy and packed market, had some free time and then went to dinner in the hotel at 6:30. The dinner was a 3 course meal with a salad, soup and a meat dish. It was pretty tasty for the most part. After dinner we were given the chance to walk around Bursa with the objective of not getting lost. Overall it was a very long and tiring day but I’m happy to be in Bursa.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Bus Rides = The Worst)

Jack Lycke

Day 11: Visiting the Hierapolis at Pamukkale

Today is 11th day in Turkey. Also, the second day of the fourth hotel. I think this hotel is better than the other hotel that we stayed before, because the room is big, meal is very delicious, and they have spa in hotel.

We went to Hierapolis archaeological site. Romans lived in this place.There were many column from building, grave,bathroom,theater and hot spring. Many used things what from the other building in the past used for make the wall of Romans building. Also, there were graves. Romans had two kind of grave. They used round grave and rectangle grave. Round grave was bigger than the another grave. So, Romans could into the grave together. They also have bath room. It was called Latrin. In the bathroom, there was no wall to separate. So, many Romans use bathroom while talking people who sit next. Also, there was roman theater. So, Romans were able to enjoyed listening songs and play in this theater. In addition we walked the top where a hot spring appeared. There was covered by calcium. So, it was looks like the mountain where it snowed.

The reason that I chose turkey is, I wanted to know food culture and I heard that Turkish people is kindness. I think that I could learn those two things from this Turkish project. I think the most popular meal in turkey is kebab. Also, kebab was made by beef, chicken or lamb. When we eat meal at restaurant, every restaurant have tea. Especially, they have apple tea. Many stuff of store always drink the tea. So, kebab and tea is important to Turkish people. As I thought, Turkish people is friendly, because many people say hello to us. The stuff of Turkish ice cream store makes us happy by doing something funny. Therefore, turkey is wonderful country, and I am glad I decided to go to turkey.

Hitomi Irie

Day 10: Visiting Laodikeia and arriving in Pamukkale

Today, our 10th day in Turkey, we left the beautiful city of Kusadasi at 09 a.m. to go to our best hotel in a really nice day! We were very excited!!

After about one hour and 40 minutes, we had our first stop to buy something to eat and to go to the bathrooms.

At 12:30 p.m. we stopped to have lunch in a small shopping mall called Sumer Park. After 1 hour of lunch we came back on the bus, drove for a while and stopped at the Ancient Roman City of Laodikeia, located on the top of a hill. Here we a Roman Theatre, an active excavation, construction of a modern roof to protect an ancient church and the ancient city’s ruins.

At 3:00p.m. we arrived in the Spa Hotel Colossae Thermal, which has indoor and outdoor thermal swimming pools, soccer, basketball and tennis courts, a spa, massage center, Turkish baths and a lot more! The spa features of the hotel are actually an important part of Turkish culture, especially the Hamman and spa treatments. It is a way that they preserve their old traditions. The hotel is located outside the city of Pamukkale, surrounded by mountains.

Some students went in the swimming pool during the rest of the day, others went to the gym, and we had a wonderful massage and free facial also! At 6:30p.m. we had dinner, as usual, however the food here is much better than the food from the other hotels! All of us are loving this place!

Nathalia Beller and Rafaella Jorge

Day 9: A day without plans

Today was a free day, which meant that there would be no plans for the day and we could do whatever we wanted. We woke up later than usual since we were chatting with each other in the hotel lobby the night before. As such, while some students had breakfast, other students did not eat anything in the morning; they needed more time to sleep.

For lunch, we went to a great restaurant. It was not very far from our hotel and the food was really delicious there. We ate together, and it felt warm and relaxıng, just like a big family.

After lunch we had many options for activities. Since the weather was good, some students went for a walk with their friends along the coast, some of them went shopping, and others went back to the hotel to rest or use the wifi to communicate with our parents. Afterward, we had dinner in the hotel at 6:30pm as usual.

Many of us are excited for the next hotel, which we will go to tomorrow. We heard that it will be the best one yet!

Silence Zhou

Day 8: Visiting the House of Virgin Mary, and Ephesus

This morning we went to house of the Virgin Mary. There is a sculpture of Mary in a small chapel, and we took a candle from there. We put the candle in a box of soil outside, that is in memory of loved ones. Then we saw three water faucets, if you drink the first one, you will become healthy, if you drink second one, you can become rich, and if you drink third one, you can become beautiful. There is another way to make your dreams come true- write your wish on a paper and tie it on the iron fence.

At afternoon, we went to the Ephesus archaeological site. When we arrived, it was raining, but it became sunny soon. The place is a small city, almost all things there are original and from the Greco Roman period. The first picture is a small coliseum. Our tour guide told us how two stone pillars can stay together. You can see the two holes and two lines in the second picture, that is the main reason. We also saw a statue of Nike there. Then we went to ancient public bathroom, the fourth picture is what the bathroom looks like. We went to saw the public toilet, our tour guide told us how the toilet worked. People can sit and chat. There is water underneath to clean oneself. How good was the system! (picture five). Then we saw the big library and a big theatre (pictures six and seven). I also have posted more pictures about some other things else in the Ephesus archaeological site.

After that, we went back our hotel. We had free time before dinner, my friends and I went to outside. I bought Apple tea and we hung out along the beach. I took some nice pictures of the sunshine and ocean. I made the apple tea during the dinner time, that is same as what we buy in the restaurant. That also much cheaper than the tea in restaurant.

Diana Kong