For Christmas we had the opportunity to spend time with family in Turkey. We had such a great time and would go back in a heartbeat! Most of the time we stayed at Tim and Anna's home in Istanbul-what a beautiful city (I'd love to see it in the summer)! Istanbul is a huge city composed of about 10-15 million people and very few of them speak English. Paul and I were completely amazed at how well Tim and Anna did communicating with locals. They may disagree, but they sure sounded Turkish to us!! It made me realize how easy we have it where we live in Kenya, where English is the norm.
There was so much to see on our trip and just not enough time! We had to laugh at how many modes of transportation it took us to get somewhere in Istanbul-we would walk about a mile, take a 20 minute boat ride, take a tram for several stops, and then walk some more. Sometimes we even through a taxi in there too-depending on how tired and cold we were. We actually enjoyed all the different ways of traveling as it made us slow down a bit. You really have to plan your day out well!
Quick story-One of the last days we were there, we had been out touring in the rain the whole day and were freezing and tired. We had been carrying the babies on us all day and instead of walking the mile from the boat to Tim and Anna's home, we opted for the girls to take a cab home. So we waved a taxi down and Anna, Levi, Lottie, Micah, and I jumped in quickly. Tim handed Anna some money to pay him and she told him where to take us. We probably had not gone 50 feet when the Turkish taxi driver pulls over to the side of the road and starts spitting off a bunch of Turkish and points for us to get out. Basically, he had told us that it was too close to drive for too little money, traffic would be bad, and that he had "no change". So yes, he made us get out! We were so ticked at him, but thankfully we found another taxi who had some sympathy and felt bad making us walk with our babies in the rain. Needless to say, this taxi driver got a nice tip!! The boys walked and still beat us home. Tim was little furious when we told him the story and told us we should have "shamed" the driver...if you know Tim, that comes as no surprise, and I loved his reaction! :)
We also toured Ephesus for a day, which was neat to see all the ruins and see where the Apostle Paul had been. Life was so much different back then! Below are some of my favorite "site seeing" pictures from the week. Hope this gives you a little glimpse of the fun we had together :)
The Bosphorus Sea in Istanbul-about to board the boat to get to the other side
The Hagia Sophia-a beautiful old church of Justinian that is now turned into a Mosque
The Blue Mosque
A road in Ephesus where shops used to be lined up on the sides
Behind us is the amphitheater where the Apostle Paul visited
A sweet picture of my boys :)
Outside our hotel in Ephesus, taking a few quick pictures at the Aegean Sea