Tag Archives: Hiking

Where History And Modernity Collide

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Our meeting with Fırsat on the bus to Hatay proved to truly be an auspicious start to one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve spent in Turkey yet. Although, if I had to wager, I would say that it would be very difficult to not enjoy a weekend in the old city of Antioch – in very few places have I truly gotten the feeling of a vibrant city feeling right at home being the place where history and modernity collide.

For example, although being on the border with Syria and having a strong Middle Eastern influence, Hatay was extremely casual in terms of dress. Whereas Malatya is much more conservative with any inter-sex displays of affection or any sort of daring clothing, women in Hatay “commonly wear mini-skirts, if you’ve noticed” as Fırsat had earlier put it with a wink at me and Fabio over tea. This is all the more interesting when put into context – you’re almost as likely to see a Syrian rebel enjoying some R&R in Hatay in full combat fatigues or military boots as one of these modern ladies.

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Fairy Tale Amasya

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This past week I’ve been a bit incommunicado as it was a combination of two holidays – Kurban Bayramı and Cumhuriyet Bayramı – so I have been traveling for the past ten days. Cumhuriyet Bayramı is Republic Day in Turkey, and celebrates the founding of the modern Turkish Republic. Worth noting, though, is that Kurban Bayramı is the Feast of Sacrifice Holiday, and it celebrates the moment in Islam when Abraham almost sacrificed his son Ishmael – not Isaac, as in Judaism and Christianity – to God. Just an interesting note.

Anyway, for the holidays I decided to visit my old host family in Ankara with a three day stopover in Amasya on the way, which allowed me to visit my friends Kate and Erin posted there. I already had fairly high expectations of Amasya from what I had read online, as well as the photographs I saw Erin post on Facebook; however, I was not prepared for how blown away by the city I would be.

Fairy Tale Amasya
My “being blown away” face

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Look On My Works, Ye Mighty, And Despair

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Look On My Works[quote style=”1″]I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read…
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
-Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley
[/quote]

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A Weekend in the Poconos

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Procrastination has always been my weak point, especially now. Although I’m now in Turkey, attending my 10 day orientation in Ankara, I didn’t finish describing my weekend in the Poconos with Jen.

Random cool mushroom we saw
After spending Friday night at the best dive bar in the world, we spent Saturday kayaking down the Delaware. After kayaking in the East River for 20 minutes for my birthday, we assumed going for a 10 mile kayaking session down the Delaware would be no big thing….we sincerely misjudged.
Around the 2 hour mark, which was only halfway, both of our arms felt like they were on fire with no choice but to continue going on. Good thing we werent in a canoe, otherwise I would have felt like we were in deliverance, just without the red-neck rape, the rapids, or the danger. Still, the Delaware was absolutely beautiful and it was full of areas where you could pull your vessel out of the river and camp for the night. We’ve already decided to do a two day canoe trip once I return from turkey next summer.
On Sunday, the two of us went two hours further west into the poconos to hike along the Falls Trail in Ricket’s Glen on my dads advice. I’m incredibly grateful ge mentioned the area to us – it was one of the most amazing trails I’ve seen. First we had to drive up steep mountain roads to reach the state park. At the summit was a gigantic lake.
Parking, the two of us were raring for the waterfall hike until we saw the numerous warnings of people who had fallen off the trail due to being underprepared; we were both wearing skater shoes. After slowly gathering up our courage, we hiked along to the first fall where we again almost turned back, if not for one crazy lady.
She was hiking up along the falls trail with an infant strapped to the front of her. No way would we let ourselves be bested by an infant. Good thing that baby was there, too! Thanks to it, we got some amazing photos of the falls.
Check out Jen’s version of the hike for even greater photos.