We arrived in Istanbul yesterday, and although we have been exploring for almost two days, there are still new adventures around every corner. Whether when going for a run, or exploring the mosques, a new memory is made from every moment.
This morning, Freida, Kate and I went for a run. About halfway through, we saw a handful of stray dogs; a very unlikely sight in our humble abode. As we were running, one of the dogs began to follow us. It kept its distance, running a few feet behind us, but kept its pace to match ours. If the dog wanted simple company or food, I couldn’t tell you; it was kind, similar to the people I have met in Turkey.
Late this afternoon, our tour guide, Latif, decided to treat us to some Turkish ice cream from a cart vendor. We all watched as Kate stepped up to take her cone, when the vendor started to do tricks with the cone in front of her. As he pulled it away, he pretended to drop it on her, and the rest of us sat back and laughed. The ice cream taste was similar to American ice cream; however, it was a bit chewy. That may sound disgusting to some, but personally I loved it.
Before our ice cream escapade, we visited our first mosque, the Rustem Pasa. Before entering, the women in our group put on head scarves and long skirts, everyone took off their shoes, and we all received our own copy of the Qur’an. Inside, the mosque was beautiful. The walls were meticulously covered with tiles painted with flowers, and parts of the ceiling had artwork that took years to sculpt out.
The overall beauty of Istanbul astounds me, and even though the call to prayer begins at five in the morning, I have had enough energy from the spirit of the city to keep me exploring, and wanting to explore more.
--Kacey Lawniczak, ROHS Class of 2012