Caledoniyya

Turkey, in 60 Seconds

Or so it seems.

This is my first visit to the country and already I lament my lack of time to explore the cities I pass through so swiftly!

Here is a snippet before I move again, on the journey so far:

Turkey is very beautiful (why does that sound like the start of a 10-year-old’s class project?!) and the people exude a calmness unlike any other.

The journey went well and the worst part was only the British Airways flight: a jumbo, for 4 hours I saw only the back of a head and (sob!) as we swooped over Istanbul I caught only a glimpse of the famous mosque over the wizened, hoary ear of an old man.

I wouldn’t normally ululate on an airline, but Turkish Airlines is awesome and as far as airline food goes, sublime.

A pot full of hummous and something like harissa, but less spicy, cherry juice and a sandwich with Turkish cheese, it smacked freshly, unlike the BA salad that rankled with age and dryness.

After the driver arrived we drove 45 minutes to the guest-house on campus.

I became quite excited when we drove past a festival, the darkness alight with grilling meat smoke, lanterns and the voices of over a 100 people singing.

Possibly there was a concert and I resolved to investigate; alas on arrival I was relocated to a sprawling building on an isolated hill 30 minutes outside Ankara, alone…

From my balcony I can see Ankara, now swathed under a low cloud of smog; around me is grass, rolling hills and trees.

From the air Turkey appeared a real fusion: the countryside of Germany, the houses of Spain and the mosques from a fairytale, their minarets understated needles thrusting to the sky from squat domes.

I have resolved to be a reckless traveller and between my 5-hour connection at Istanbul this weekend I shall taxi over to the Hagia Sofia to drink her beauty.

For now, it is back to work, for tonight will bear me over the sea to Cyprus.

More will follow anon!

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This entry was posted on May 12, 2011 by in Middle East and tagged , , , , , .
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