Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write a Travelogue (11/06/14)
TITLE: Turkey Inspired
By Shanta Richard
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
major topic of conversation of my children is how to cook a
turkey! My thoughts turn to the nation called Turkey and
my tour of that place a decade ago.
Turkey is unique in that it spans two major continents - Europe
and Asia.Its capitol Istanbul and 5% of its population are
situated in Europe and the rest spread over Asia minor, which
lies across the Bosporusstraits that connects the Black sea
and the sea of Marmara. Their civilization dates back to the
Neolithic era. My experiences of that tour has left a lasting
impression in my memory.
First, I realized that God's dwelling place is not in human
buildings.Hagia Sophia - holy wisdom - a church built in the
6 th century by theByzantine emperor is a magnificient
place of worship. It was so beautifulthat the Muslim
Ottomon sultan who conquered the Byzantine
did nor destroy it but converted it into a Mosque and
renamed it he Red Mosque. Today it is a museum of
St. Sophia. If God, Almighty resided in this edifice, I
believe that no power on earth could reduceit to its
Second, I was impressed by the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.
Situated in the center of two great continents it
dominated the trade between the east and the west.
The market consists of over 3,000 shops from all
over the world. Shops were grouped together according
to themercandise so shoppers do not have to travel all
over the place. Thus sales depended on the salesman's
"gift of the gap".
Bargaining is an art, a battle of wits. The possibility of
getting the right price depends upon how clever and
patient you are. It also depends on the time of the day.
Salesmen have a daily quota to reachand are likely to
sell at a cheaper price in the morning until they reach
their target and then hike up the prices. Bargaining
gives satisfction to both the seller and the buyer. The
seller fixes the price at say $100 foran article valued
at $50 and after an effusive haggling sells it at $60
and is happy. The buyer on the other hand thinks he
is clever to have purchased a $100 item at $60 !!
Finally I was blessed to visit the house of the Virgin Mary in
Mt. Koresses,near Ephesus. It is said that during the
persecution of the Christians bythe Roman Emperor,
St.John came to Turkey. Since Jesus had
entrusted His Mother Mary into his care, John brought
her with him. He built a stone house for her and left her
in the care of the goatherds wholived there when he
was exiled to Patmos. The blessed Mother lived in
this humble abode peacefully until her death.
As I walked into this simple home I felt my whole being respond
to thethrill of heavenly joy and peace that I never felt when I
visited St. Peter's Basilica in Rome or Westminster Abbey in
London. Here a broken- heartedmother was comforted by
the love of Her Son and found peace and solace
in the faith of His resurrection and eternal life.
The experiences of travel not only enriches my knowledge,
but also blesses me spiritually.
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