See the video!
(But mute your computer, please. Do I really sound like that?)
This has been the most amazing trip. Our group of 13 was wonderful. As Aykut said, we could tease each other and behave like family. We really hope that Harriet B., Marion G., Pam & Larry F., Mary Anna & Bob G., Rick P., Roz & Greg E., Lyn D. and Stephanie will stay in touch.
Aykut our tripleader could not have been any better. He was excited about his country and full of knowledge about it. I hope he doesn't expect me to retain too much of all the history data. He got energized when we were excited about what we saw and experienced and when we asked question (even if they were those stupid ones from me). This made him try even harder to show us more. And he genuinely cared about each of his charges well being. And every day he had new surprises and highlights for us.
Turkey ... there is much diversity in the landscape and country. It is beautiful and so are the people at least most of them. I found most faces friendly and curious. Beautiful faces really. People happy to help if you look like you need it. Patient when we tried to order food in a restaurant or for directions on the street for example.
History ... so much of it there. All those empires. Greek, Roman, Ottoman. Religion: Pagen, Christian, Muslim, sometimes it seemed to change with the tide or really with the power of a person. If you think one person can't make a difference, think again.
Ruins ... Buildings ... Art
Yes, it has been a great trip! It will take a while to digest it all.
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Turkish Lentil Soup (from Aykut's CD)
- 4 Tb butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 cup red lentils, washed and picked over
- 1/2 cup fine bulgur wheat
- 2 Tb tomato paste
- 1 Tb dried mint leaves, crumbled
How to make it,
- Heat the butter in a large sauce pan and saute the onions over low heat until they are golden--about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the paprika, then the lentils and bulgur to coat them in the butter.
- Add the tomato paste, stock, and hot pepper, bring to a boil, and cook until soft and creamy--about an hour.
- When ready to serve, crumble the mint between your palms into the soup.
- Stir and remove the soup from the heat. Let rest for 10 minutes, then ladle into bowls, serving each with a lemon wedge and a sprinkling of mint leaves (if available) or crushed dried mint.