Tuesday, April 29, 2008

*hey van kedi, kedi from van!*

2 months ago (oops!!!) i spent my final week-long break from work (april 17 - 27ish) with both my dear friend laura and one of my close friends from home - john f. - who came to visit after a six month stint in afghanistan and iraq. our trip started out by flying from ankara to trabzon and taking buses along the following path through eastern turkey (you can click on the blue bubbles for info):

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then finishing with a flight from van to istanbul and, two days later, a bus back to ankara where john flew back to washington and laura and i returned to our "BUSELogic" lives.

here are some highlights (mostly taken by john) including wildflowers in the port city of trabzon:

and the black sea!

and the nearby sumela monastery in the mountains:

an amazingly scenic bus ride through north eastern turkey:

seljuk architecture in erzurum:

the fields of abandoned ruins at ani, former armenian capital - one of the more beautiful and interesting scenes i've seen:

views of mt. ararat where noah's ark supposedly landed:

ishak pasha palace outisde doğubeyazıt:

the armenian church on akdamar island, lake van:

driving around van/getting lost in a dedicated quest to find the famous van kitties with one blue, one yellow-ish eye!

after while we saw some hope. . .

and then the real thing, albeit in a CAGE and not swimming around.

then a traditional van breakfast. . .

before wandering around istanbul. here is the underground basilica cistern (with creepy classical music piped through!)

and lamps in the grand bazaar.