Turkey 2006: Seeing the world by alphabet

Jun 6, 2006
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Above: "Lamps hang inside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.

So I arrived in Turkey with little trouble... I slept for all but one hour of the first 10 hour flight which was awesome! I woke up briefly in the middle to some really bad turbulence though and feared that the curse was upon me... But I figured - what can I do - so I just went back to sleep ;-)

Istanbul has been nice and relaxing... Since I have already been here a couple times, I have just been taking it slow and hanging out at my hostel and enjoying the free wireless Internet! Yesterday I went to the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. I also walked around the endless maze of the Grand Bazaar for a couple hours looking in shops and hunting for a good deal on a cell phone.

I met up with an old friend from last summer and walked around for a bit. I had given her information to a fellow traveler that my professor asked me to help out a few months back. I guess it actually turned out to be pretty funny... I've never realized how much of a skill traveling can be. Apparently this guy got taken for $800 at a bar in Istanbul on his first night and they had to spend the entire next day at the police station straightening it all out. He only ended up getting about half of it back... Then he lost both of his credit cards down in Cappadocia and my friend ended up taking a bus down to help him get back to Istanbul since he didn't have a dime left to his name! Now, I have been taken a couple times while traveling and I admit that... But never for $800 and never have I needed anyone to come rescue me!

Anyways, back at the hostel that evening I basically just hung out, ate some food, and drank Cay. I met a guy from Notre Dame that has been living in Cairo for the last five months and he gave me a ton of tips for while I am there... Although I did start to wonder however, being from Notre Dame and all, if he wasn't actually leading me to my death by profusely recommending a desert oasis right on the border of Libya! I know the Irish are jealous and all... But that might be pushing the rivalry a little too far ;-)

I also met a woman in her 30's that is doing something awesome... She is traveling Europe (and eventually the world) by alphabet! Apparently at every city she goes to she has someone pick the next city out of a hat that contains preselected spots each beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. So she actually never even knows where she is going to go next! Her website is - www.OnAnAlphabet.com - if anyone is interested!

This evening I am headed to Diyarbakir where I will be roughly centered for the next month. Then I am off to Egypt to meet up with my girlfriend and travel around for two weeks before heading to Morocco and Southern Spain for 10 days... If anyone has any tips let me know!

Lamps hang inside the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey

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Chris Mendez | April 8, 2007 6:54 PM | Reply

So Um, What is Cay? Is the Blue Mosque really Blue? How did it become Blue?

Tamara Moore | April 8, 2007 6:55 PM | Reply

Hey jon! I love how you have a website for this. I'll make sure you are still alive from time to time ;-) So jealous of your travels and hope you are having a blast!!

Gabe Nava | April 8, 2007 6:55 PM | Reply

Man, now all your escapades seem lame compared to traveling by Alphabet. I wish I knew someone cool like that... I guess I'll have to settle for your stories.

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