The group returned to Pirpirim for lunch today. It was delicious, as it was the first night that we arrived and we were happy that Sophia got to join in today as she missed out on it the first time around.
After meeting in the hotel lobby, we departed for a tour of Istanbul University. The campus was beautiful and the college itself is over 600 years old!
Following the university foot tour, courtesy of my fellow Group Leader and Istanbul University alumnus Burak Turkman, we went to the historical district and walked around a good bit before the group delved into the Basilica Cistern. It was, of course, a major hit, being so ancient and cool (temperature-wise, that is). It is always a great respite from the summer heat in the city!
We also went to an historic library in the area. It was beautiful and while we were there, Adam and Michael both played the piano for us! I even joined in with Adam at one point and sang. It was a bunch of fun. Our student winners are just so talented!
Dinner was fantastic, even though it took almost 2 hours for us to get there thanks to the Istanbul traffic! However, the traffic didn't matter as we saw gorgeous districts and scenery along the Bosphorus, which Sherry said even "rivaled" the Amalfi Coast and which also transfixed Billy throughout the drive.
We arrived late to Asuman Dayi's house for dinner, although she was very gracious and didn't mind. She is a wonderful lady and businesswoman with whom I stayed for 12 days last summer. Her family runs Telekurye (a shipping and logistics company in Turkey).
We joined Asuman, her daughter Cazibe and grandson Yavyzcan, and some of their friends in addition to a visiting group from Alabama for dinner. The food was absolutely perfect-we could not eat enough! Salad, breads, Turkish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and various desserts...YUM! We had so much fun that we did not even leave until around 10:30-11:00pm!!!
It is so sad to think that tomorrow is our last full day in Turkey, I must say, even though it is going to be absolutely fantastic. We have had such an incredible time and have become SO close...
Well, that is all for now.
Iyi geceler (good night)!