Besides the business, we went sightseeing in Istanbul and the surrounding areas. We traveled to Bursa, Prince’s Island and Ephesus.
The climate of Turkey is much like Arkansas. The temperature is about the same. Ron and I walked around in short sleeves. The people wear leather jackets, sweaters, and the women wear the scarves and long coats. Even the other Europeans wear cold weather clothes. These people have body odor! I wondered why people talk about Europeans. When you wear a leather jacket in 75 degree temperature, you are going to smell a little ripe!
Istanbul is a very crowded city. Fifteen million people live in Istanbul! This city is packed with traffic. The drivers are so rude! I have seen bad drivers, but this is a different level of rude. They run out in front of each other, they do not stop for pedestrians! They honk at each other. The streets are small, with fruit stands and pedestrians, and the tour buses still race by.
In Turkey, you might find need to make use of that very uncomfortable public restroom, and then find a nice restroom with a bidet. Now, that is a great cultural difference. Those things are useful. I do not know why they are popular in European countries, but not at home.
On our previous visit to Turkey, Ron did not like the food. We thought it was the seasonings that made Ron not like the food. I think it is the smells. I noticed that the smells fill the air. I think with so many people packed in that town, with a market or a cafe on every corner, you smell food cooking everywhere. Markets are on every street corner, selling fresh fruit, vegetables and fish!
It is generally excepted that you do not drink the water in Turkey. Bottled water is served everywhere. The first night at dinner, we ordered peach tea, iced tea. It came in a tall slim glass, with a garnish of fresh apples and a cherry. It was delicious! I was so impressed that they served iced tea that was so tasty. The next night we ordered the peach tea again. They brought the tall slim glass and a can of Lipton Peach Tea!
Turkey is rich in history! We visited the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace during our visit in 2007. Those places are so well known, with beautiful and interesting mosaics and frescoes.
This trip we visited Ephesus! This was the highlight of our trip. We sat in the auditorium where Paul preached. We walked in the streets where Paul walked. Ephesus is being restored, where time and earthquakes have taken a toll. They also said that only a small percentage have been excavated.
The Library of Celsus is the best preserved and most well known structure in Ephesus.
I would never have chosen Turkey as the country to visit. The business meetings are the only reason that we would visit Turkey. In 2007, we did not leave Istanbul. Traveling outside of Istanbul, allowed us to see the real beauty of this country. Istanbul is crowded, noisy and a little smelly. Getting out of the city allowed us to see how the rest of the country looks. Olive tree groves, orange trees, we saw people using their tractors as their transportation. On one street, there was a camel and a tractor at a stop light.