Saturday, May 24, 2014

Flying Moving and a Walkin

I rarely sleep well the day before I leave on a journey...whether it is for a day or a weekend or a couple weeks. There is always so much that goes on in my mind while it is trying to sleep :) I tried to get to sleep by 11 but kept looking at the clock every hour as I did not want to miss my ride, even though my alarm was set.  I got up at 3:20, was picked up at 4:10 am and left Saskatoon at 6 am. We arrived in Toronto 3 hours later (so great that I slept practically the whole time :) at 11 am. Here we had a nice lunch and did not have to rush to our gate right away, as it was not leaving until 4:25. After leaving on time from Toronto, we settled in for the very long 10 hour flight. We arrived in Istanbul at 9:25 am with all our luggage in tact. Yay! Going through customs and getting our luggage and finding our ride took about an hour. Not bad. The traffic was a little crazy but I did not mind as we were busy looking at all the sites around us throughout the drive. By 11:30 we were at our hotel and decided to get settled in our rooms and have a nap. I had just laid down after I had finished posting some pics and an arrival status on FB and I felt the whole hotel room and my bed move. What was that??  Was I dreaming? Was I over tired? Please tell me that had not been an earthquake!! It moved a couple more times a bit more slightly but I was very tired and did not hear any screaming so I was not too concerned and fell asleep. :) Later in the lobby, sure enough, the hotel desk clerk told us we felt a 6.5 earthquake that had happened 300 km away in the Aegean Sea. Yikes! I survived an earthquake within 3 hours of arriving and I was living to tell about it!  :)  I was thankful! I knew this trip was going to be an adventure and I had heard that one of the areas of the 7 churches was well known for earthquake activity....I just did not think it would happen while I was here. Crazy!
Our hotel is beautiful, and there are lovely streets lined with shops and restaurants to walk around on closeby.  Tammy and I took a walk and experienced many restaurant owners wanting us to eat in the establishments. :)  We politely turned them all down as we wanted to walk. And walk we did. So much to see and so many people to watch. Tammy could not believe I had taken so many photos already! :) It was not quite what I had expected but then at the same time I did not know what to expect. I got some great pics of people...and I was very sneaky too. Beautiful children, mothers, fathers and couples walking around on a Saturday afternoon. We crossed a public square and came around the corner to witness the most people that we have ever seen flooded in the street as far as the eye could see!!  Wow!! The photo explains it all! :) May police were around and we did not know why but later at the hotel we were told that there had been a riot in that place the day before. So glad all was well while we were there! We met a few people from the group but we also knew that many more would be arriving around 9:30 tonight. When I came down to the lobby to write this, they were arriving. It will be great to connect with our group in the morning at breakfast. I would appreciate continue prayer as we all settle in for the night and start our touring in the morning. I know God has great things in store for us! :)

Well, unfortunately I am not able to post photos right now so if you would like to see photos, feel free to check out my FB page. Hopefully I will be able to figure out the picture thing out tomorrow. :)
Good night my friends. Time for some sleep. See you tomorrow.

......yay!  I am able to post photos now!! :) So here are a few more... :) Across the street from our hotel behind a row of trees is an area that was sobering to see, I am not sure of the story behind this scene but hope to ask our bus driver today, But it reminds me that life is short and uncertain and even though we are surrounded by beauty, we are also surrounded by hatred and not all people live in peace and unity. May God change the hearts of men...but I also know that man needs to want his heart to be changed....

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