We started our Sunday a little later than had been intended. Last night, various people got ill at the bar, and they did not make it back to the hotel until 2AM. I’m glad I stayed in. We started in a village of old Greek houses. It was famous because one of the houses was the location where a television series was filmed.

Gokhan and I went searching for the Upper Greek House (there were signs with arrows) but did not find it. Instead, we found Kemal and were going to go look at the mosqque, but I got distracted by an old beaiutiful Ottoman building still being used as a high school. It was so strange seeing modern stuff (like a room full of computers) inside such an ancient building.

Later we visited “new” ruins, only found about 5 years ago. Rotary paid for the cover of the place (likely a church or meeting location) and I thought that was awesome.

We went to the underground city as well. Not so bad when everyone was moving along, but very bad when you stopped with seventy people in a small passageway.

We visited Pigeon valley, where people carved houses for pigeons so they could collect the pigeon poop which was used for various things in the ancient times.

Then we went to a wine tasting. The wines were not very good, but Kristin and I bought some pumpkin seeds to eat on the trip home.

Then it was back on the bus and back to Ankara~



We left this morning at about 1:30AM. mad crazy early and I hardly slept on the bus, even though I had two seats to myself. We arrived in the region by 5:30AM, and drove through with the sun rising. After arriving at the hotel, I roomed with Charlotte and re-met the German girl I met in the museum with Cynthia. We ate breakfast, and I managed a quick shower before we left at 8:30AM.

(the center rock far far away is supposed to be “Virgin Mary.” To the right of her on top is a curled snake.)

Our tour guide was really sweet and I loved the way she spoke. First she took us to Imagination Valley to see shapes in the rocks, and then to another area to see and learn about the rock formations.

After that, we went to a village to explore some rock buildings. People still lived here only 60 years ago!!! It blows my mind!

After that, we saw a pottery demonstration. I took a video of it, but of course, we were all “really mature” (myself not included) about watching it happen. We had the chance to buy some pottery for 50% off, and lots of us ended up with extra discounts which was shweet.

This is their Red River, with the moving bridge…I kept singing “Red River Valley” while here, haha.

Finally we went to the Goreme open air museum. I find it most interesting that the history of this place as I know it differs from what the Turks know to be true.

Tonight’s party was to be “Turkish night,” with cultural stuff and a belly dancer. Really cool, but with the lack of sleep, I wasn’t feeling up for it. When everyone else napped and got ready, Charlotte, Kristin and I wandered through Urgup looking for wine. We bought a 6TL bottle, figuring we’d try the better wine tomorrow at the wine tasting before we leave Cappadocia. Charlotte wanted to find the way to the top of a bluff overlooking Urgup, but Kristin and I were too tired. We poked around in an antique store and then settled in a pastanesi with cay, sahlep and baklava. We both ordered in Turkish, so I’m extra proud of us! Charlotte found us there and we wanted to some other shops.

It was really strange though. The shop owners all spoke decent to relatively good English. I’m so used to talking about them and their prices right in front of them without them knowing it, so it was really strange not being able to do that!

After dinner, I was not feeling well. Charlotte, Kristin and I got together in Kristin’s room to drink wine and learn Backgammon! Charlotte taught us, and Kristin won, haha.

Moree traveling tomorrooowww~


but I had a LOT of pageviews today, thank you! 😀

This morning there were blue skies….. (view from my dorm…that beige line in under the dark blue line is Ankara buildings.)

but by the afternoon, it was split. And then it rained. .__.;

These two little boys were playing soccer with a tennis ball this morning 😛

“DEVRIM” means “Revolution.” This is on the soccer field. Sometimes, I think people probably think I’m crazy for taking pictures of the most random things.

Like this tree. It’s very strange, is it not? I keep expecting an old, wise man’s face to warp out of the bark. But people look at me very oddly when I pull out my camera to take pictures.

Vending machine. It is like a small store. I spy with my little eye…..sandwiches, water bottles, juice boxes, snacks, and…a tissue pack. (You can click on it to view a bigger picture.)

This beauty was hanging out in the lobby of the library, sleeping on the heater. Sooooo sweeeeet! I was at the library to meet with my new friend Ali. He is Pakistani (I believe), and lived in England for 7 years. He had trouble when he was here with courses not being taught in English, and having to fight for himself to be able to take courses and understand the professors. He introduced me to Thomas, who is in what I believe is the equivalent of the Student Council. I gave him the courses and professors who wouldn’t teach in English, and it’s something they’ll be discussing/working on hopefully. If TCNJ is planning on having a program with METU, teaching in English is really important. Ali and I talked a little about how he is experiencing METU, and what he does when he’s stuck in a situation where he can’t understand something (IE: signs all over campus telling you stuff, but they’re all in Turkish.) He’s been a really great help, and I’m glad to have [acidentally] met him.

This is a little park area by the shopping center. I’ll take another picture when there are leaves on trees and such. It’s just generally pretty. There is sooo much MUD here though. I had to buy new pants because my other pants are all muddy just from walking on campus. It’s ridiculously difficult to avoid.

Another Turkish test tomorrow. @>@ Wish me luck!!!

I could read this today! I am so proud of me! The bottom says “Orange Jelly Biscuit”!!!! 😀

However, knowing that kind of Turkish doesn’t help me when my last class this week was taught in Turkish. So now I’m dropping 2 classes, and I really didn’t want to do that. I hope I can get the right number of credits for the classes I’m taking. The women I’ve emailed at TCNJ to ask about this has just…not gotten back to me. It’s rather frustrating.

There is a bus that goes around campus every 15 minutes. I took it this morning (not nearly as far as I should have) and it was pretty ghettofab. The best part I think was that the driver was wearing a suit.

After getting off the bus a good 5 stops before I should’ve, I just walked about a mile or so to get to my class. Good thing I left an hour early. Saw this along the way, and it was really pretty. I think it leads to the Teknokent, or a place on campus where a lot of businesses have offices.

People do this all over campus in the dorms. It’s really strange: they put foodstuffs that needs to stay cold out on the ledge outside their window. o.O Even though they have a fridge provided by the school, they store their stuff out the window. I wonder if they do it when the weather gets warmer. I’ll let you know.

So it’s just my luck, right? Literally minutes after I separated from Ezgi when walking back to my dorm after Chorus tonight, I see two dogs cross the path up ahead of me. It’s a little dark out, but I can tell they’re some of the dogs that are not friendly and I’ve stayed away from them. I didn’t realize there was a third until I was literally right next to it. The third one growled, and the second one growled, and I tried to walk faster but the third one grabbed the back of my leg. Rather than ripping my leg out and running, I barked at them. They ran off. I checked my leg inside the closest building and saw it broke the skin, so I went to the medical center. (As I approached the door, the dogs came around the side of the building. I barked at them again and they ran off.) The medical staff wanted to send me to the hospital for a vaccine for rabies no doubt. I called Gokcer, and he’s going to take me to get the vaccine in about an hour or so. Only this would happen to me in the first month that I’m in Turkey…whereas Gokcer has lived here  35 years and had no problems. xD

I’ll leave you with this: the view from my window this morning P:


Rather than attempting to snowboard in the wind that bowls me over when I am merely standing, let along attempting to slide, I went to Bursa, the city at the bottom of the mountain. We had a wonderful time!!! There were 7 of us on this mini trip: 5 girls, Kristin, Nina, Beth, Veronica, Fiona and myself, and one ESN Turkish guy, Gokhan. He was “touristing” with us, but was also our tour guide, translator and navigator. It was really nice to spend time with them, because I didn’t know most of them all too well, and now I have a bunch of new friends here. ❤ (from left: Kristin, Beth, Gokhan, Veronica, Fiona, Nina)

We got off the dolmus right next to a castle, which was way cool.

Our first stop was a mosque, which had a gorgeous fountain. It was really soothing and calming!!

The artwork around the mosque was really pretty, and the whole place seemed really well taken care of.

This is most of our group here =)

From there, we went to the bazzar. I love bazzars! I love the fake cheap stuff, hearing the merchants hawk and try so hard to get you in their shops…it’s such a fun atmosphere.

A really cool little flower-shaped garden under a bridge we walked over =)

After that, we had lunch and headed to the sultans’ tombs. We were aiming for the first two sultans of the Ottoman empire. We got distracted along the way by a wonderful, FREE museum of Turkish Islamic Art. The garden within the walls was an amazing oasis from the city you could barely hear just outside.

Then we found the tomb of the 6th sultan and his family. His 3 sons are on either side of him, and his 5 daughters are behind him. I didn’t find any wives, but I couldn’t read one or two of the signs. (Though, interestingly, the daughters’ tombs are actually larger than those of the sons….)

We wandered to a sweets shop, then walked about 2 kilometers back to meet up with the bus of folks who stayed on Uludag to ski. Before we left, we stopped at a restroom–doesn’t this sign look like Lucille Ball?! We started the trip back to Ankara at around 4PM, and arrived by about 10:30PM.

Grammy left this morning really early to head back to Colorado. Her plane took off shortly after 6AM. I’m kind of really sad to see her go, because I so thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her and haven’t had the chance to do so before now for a few years. When she called last night, she asked if I was going to be okay over the next four months on my own. I don’t really have a choice though, do I? =) I’ll make it because I have to.

I’m one of the lucky ones here though. I have people I can go to, who can help me should I run into any problems. A lot of people don’t have that at all. I hope all will be well for us all though.


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