I was awake when the call to prayers from a mosque nearby announced that morning had come and that I was in Istanbul. I had gone to bed early after close to 20 hours traveling from Calgary . I am only spending a day here in Istanbul as I will visit the city before I return to Calgary in about eight weeks. However, I got in on a good walk touching a few places that are most memorable from my only previous visit in 1965. First on the list was the Grand Bazaar. It is still fascinating but I am not buying anything at least not yet. It was fun to check out meerschaum pipes again. I then carried on further into the old city for a brief look at the Blue Mosque and Ayasofya, possibly the two most important mosques in Istanbul, certainly the most visited.
I am about to head off on another long walk. I am going to walk the Lycian Way. It is advertised as 540 km and will take about 30 days. I am taking a very light bivouac bag but mostly I hope not to use it, staying in guest houses and small hotels that I will book as I go. The walk follows the Mediterranean Coast between the cities of Fethiye and Antalya. The walk is often included in lists of the top 10 hikes in the world so even though I I’m going alone I expect to meet other walkers. Mostly however, I am hoping to meet Turks and get a feeling for their way of life.
Besides the walking experience I am greatly looking forward to visiting this historical Treasure Trove. My walk will take me through the number of archaeological sites. A few are Lycian but most are Greek and Roman. I will pass through one deserted village that was Greek. It was deserted when in 1923 during the creation of the Turkish country all Greeks were shipped to Greece and Turks who were in Greece where shipped to Turkey. This in spite of the fact that the people had lived for possibly hundreds of years where they were, could not speak their supposed native language and mostly had no idea of why they were being moved. There were to be no Muslims in Greece and no Christians in Turkey. We do wonderful things in the name of nationalism, religion, and such.
I will take a few days to get to Fethiye, acclimatizing and doing some tourist visits. After my walk I hope to have two or three weeks to do some more touristing. My last visit here was during a year-long Walkabout. I took a bus across turkey from Syria without seeing or experiencing much. My visit in Istanbul was great and I have longed to revisit this ancient city ever since and to do a bit better job of seeing other parts of Turkey. Wish me luck. Not sure how much posting will happen…