Jonathan and I just got back from Turkey on Monday and it was wonderful!
We flew for hours and hours and landed in Istanbul on Nov 1st. Our dear friends Eric and Allison picked us up and we spent the next 6 days with them. Here are some of the highlights.
This is the one of the famous mosques in Istanbul.
Istanbul is a port city and kind of curves around the water so we took the ferry almost every day. Eric and Allison live on the Asian side, but most of the things we did were on the European side, so we crossed from continent to continent almost every day!
All the people waiting for the ferry. It looks like a scene in some zombie movie or something.
Jonathan spent most of the days with Eric doing stuff for the coffee roasting business they run. As I'm sure you can believe, he LOVED every second of it. Here they are roasting coffee beans to be shipped out the next day.
On our walk to the office, I stumbled upon a couch in a cemetery. Couldn't resist the photo op.
This is a picture of Ataturk next to the Turkish flag. Ataturk was the Turkish leader in the 1950's and the one who secularized the government. Everyone reveres him greatly and every building is required to have a picture of him in it. The coffee roasting office had a picture of him drinking tea in a garden. Others had golden face imprints, which made me feel like I was in Oz.
There were always fishermen fishing of of every bridge and area we crossed. I'm sure the water is more polluted than we can imagine with all the boats everywhere!
Allison and I went to the Turkish bath one day. It's one of the most er...memorable experiences I've ever had. We laughed our way through 2 hours of awkward and uncomfortable moments!
We rejoiced in every moment with them. Our time was full of laughter, deep conversation, and a spiritual unity that is hard to come by. I also really enjoyed the culture of Istanbul. It reminded me of Egypt in that we heard the call to prayer 5 times a day and there were markets and people on the streets selling juice, roasted chestnuts, etc. But, I also really enjoyed the freedom in Istanbul that I didn't have in Egypt, in things like walking around alone without getting attention, or being able to speak with men. The food wasn't my favorite ever, but it was still good.
From their house, we went to a hotel on the Mediterranean sea for a prayer conference. It was incredible! What a joy it is to be a part in what God is doing among the nations. I also got to see some of my closest friends from Egypt, and in honor of the Egyptian sleeping schedule, we even stayed up all night talking.
This is the view from our hotel room.
Finally, on our trip home, we had some flight confusion and ended up having to leave immigration in Italy so here we are officially in Roma!
Turkey was wonderful, and we're already planning our next big trip! We're hoping for one a year!