Monday, July 9, 2012

Turkey Trip Day 21 and Summary!

Thursday July 05

Today was our day to return home after a wonderful experience. The taxi driver was very punctual and we left the hotel at 6:30 am to go the Airport Gaziantep and this little plane brought us to Istanbul.

It took a while to get through immigration and security and we rechecked our luggage but then we had time for a snack. I finally had a real Turkish ice-cream and even so I knew the trick the ice-cream people like to play I still fell for it. 
Bye-bye Turkey! On our way with a 10 hour flight to Newark

Bye-bye, Newark!
Happy to say that my little 'Whirling Dervish' arrived in very good condition at his new home.

See the video!
(But mute your computer, please. Do I really sound like that?)
Hope the dervish didn't mind that he traveled in a wine box James had cleverly saved when we treated ourselves to some libations in Cappadocia.

The Summary:

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.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Turkish Lentil Soup   (from Aykut's CD)

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.
Enjoy it


  1. Glad you have a lentil soup recipe, because I LOVE lentil soup. I'm happy to provide you with the dried mint leaves and cayenne pepper (right out of my garden! Glad you both had a wonderful (and safe) trip. Ben and I are already placing bets on what part of the world you will be traveling to next (after England of course).

  2. What an astonishing trip. And how wonderful that you leave your mind and heart open to everything you experience.

  3. Oh, Kim, I am so very blessed and I know it. It started with my upbringing and my family history I am sure. To not enjoy what I am blessed with would be a crime.