Turkey Travels

27 January 2010

In preparation for leading this study-tour of Turkey and Greece in the Summer of 2010, I’m doing this “familiarization” trip in January 28-February 4. Here’s the first installment about that trip.

I made it to Istanbul unscathed, and my luggage came with me, so I’m taking that as a good omen. (Especially after my first trip to Ankara, when my luggage was missing for FOUR DAYS, I don’t take anything for granted.) The three flights basically went without a hitch, other than routine de-icing in Cleveland and a rather nippy plane-change in Frankfurt. I would have thought that Germans, with their reputation for fine engineering, would use those skyway things instead of making you go down/up the stairs from the tarmac. It might have helped if they hadn’t told us the temperature (why does -4C sound and feel colder than +11F??), and if they had warned us in time to get out our coats first, but maybe I’m just being a pampered American. My grandma would be proud of me, however, because at least I had my coat in the carry-on bag.

The other minor hitch is that I discovered that my Turkish lira has “expired,” again. I wish they would stop reinventing their money. I have to go to the Central Bank to exchange it for the current model. However, it’s closed for the day, so I’m taking the opportunity to put my feet up for the first time in over 24 hours. Even an uneventful trip is tiring when it includes 18 hours in three planes & four airports.

Tomorrow is my little hop to Izmir, where I will meet the rest of the group and relinquish all the organizational worries to the tour company head honcho. At first I was trying to figure out how I was going to pick out the one or two people I know from the crush of humanity at the airport. Then, as I was waiting in line for the Customs agent this afternoon, I realized that this would be no problem at all as long as I let them find me. Of the hundreds of people in this sea of navy, grey, brown, and black coats, I had to be the only one for miles in a RED overcoat. Uh, do you think I might look like a tourist? 😉 Thank you, Pat Graney, because I do think this coat will make things a lot easier!

M let me borrow her little camera, so I will try to give an update every couple days and maybe post a picture or two. Meanwhile, I’d better try to get my biological clock set to the new time zone. Á bientôt. S

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The Bible According to McGinn

People, places, and other points of interest relating to the Biblical texts

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