JOURNAL

solo mission 2023 – part 2 (Türkiye)

Apr 7, 2023

After I left Uganda I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to visit a good friend of mine who has been living there for over 8 years. He lives in Western Turkey, so had to take a 3-4 hour hour bus ride to Istanbul. We met up at our hotel the first night.

We got all checked into our hotel and then ventured out to find a good place for dinner. The food was amazing. I apologize ahead of time for all the food pics. 😉

We got all checked into our hotel and then ventured out to find a good place for dinner. The food was amazing. I apologize ahead of time for all the food pics. 😉

The first morning we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast provided by our hotel and then hit the streets.

One of our first stops the next day was the Eye of Sofia, also known as Hagia Sophia. It is almost 1,500 years old.

Though it is a mosque today, it was once a Christian church. In fact, there are many Christian paintings and symbols still visible all over, though in recent years many of them have been removed or covered up.

We made our way to the top of Galata Tower, where we had amazing 360 degree views of the city.

Most of the city is pretty easy to get around either by walking or the metro. One night we traveled via electric scooter.

We took a tour of the Basilica Cisterns that were used to store water for the city, built around the 6th century.

Nathan’s grandfather was captain of this submarine for the Turkish navy. We took a special trip to where this retired sub is docked to be able to get his photo next to it.

The amount of mosques throughout the city is incredible. So I had to include a photo of a “non-mosque” church just to show they exist. The government approximates the 99.8% of the population are Muslim.

We got to visit the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, where they have the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. It was just about as impressive as you’d imagine.

After a day and a half, we boarded a bus and travelled to western Turkey. Along the route, we passed over the world’s longest suspension bridge.

Nathan’s family lives in Çanakkale, very close to the old ruins of the city of Troy. So despite the rain, we had to take a visit.

The city was rebuilt many times over the years due to wars. This is believed to be the main entrance to one of the versions of the city.

We got to make the trip with Nathan’s 2 wonderful kids. We all had a blast exploring the ruins and the nearby museum.

The movie “Troy” was filmed nearby, so the Trojan horse used in the movie was given to the nearby city of Çanakkale. You can see it in the city center if you drive by.

After my short visit I had to head home. I was only there about 5 days, definitely not long enough. The people were wonderful, the food was amazing, and I can’t wait to go back. I posted more photos from my trip if you want see them.