Ruins of St. Sophia and City Walls in Iznik

Trip Start Mar 10, 2011
Trip End Mar 28, 2011

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Flag of Turkey  , Bursa,
Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 4 (early afternoon)

Temperature: 15 degrees
Weather:  beautiful sunny day

  A short ferry trip was taken across the Bay of Izmil which turned out to be quite fun because I got out of the motor coach with the rest of the group and wandered all around the huge ship's three decks.  Sea gulls flew all around me as Michel tossed my granola bars way up in the air and into their oncoming beaks.  Yep, that's you know.....that’s where my snack reluctantly went!  :-(

Looking straight ahead of me, in the far distance, snow covered mountains dominated the landscape.  The breeze was by now much warmer which made it even more enjoyable just to walk around. 

The ferry took a good 45 minutes to cross the entire Bay in which a stop for lunch was taken shortly afterwards at a local restaurant.  By then it was noon time, the morning having passed quite rapidly.  Our TD Daghan took the time and energy to explain to each and every one of us the Turkish food displayed in front of us in a cafeteria kind of restaurant along with their prices. I ordered soup and Michel……well he ordered soup as well!  Bread came with it.  One word to describe the Turkish soup…...delicious!

Continuing on with my journey, the landscape was what I devoured without a break as I remained glued to my window seat watching nature go by while constantly snapping pictures.  What I saw was beautiful valleys and hills as well as occasionally, goats and cows eating the grass while men worked in the fields   Here and there, snow still covered the ground which reminded me of what I left back home.  A range of mountains with snow caped summits followed us around, adding beauty to the décor.  

It was 1:40pm by the time we arrived in Iznik, a charming lakeside town with a population of around 15,000.  We were here for our next little escapade….to visit the ruins of St. Sophia and see the city walls, these having been built in 300 BC by the Greeks.    

We followed Daghan inside the remnants of the old church as he explained to us its history while we looked all around. It was erected after an earthquake in 1065 AD replacing an earlier version of it.  Interesting facts however, there wasn’t very much to see inside the ancient structure except its walls which were still standing along with its roof, this latter probably having been replaced recently! 

We walked around the ruins for a while and then drove to the city’s limit to view its ancient walls. As mentioned earlier, they were built in 300 BC.  We didn’t get out of the bus but looked through the windows.  .  It was quite impressive and amazing just to think that the people back then was so advanced architecturrally.

We then drove to Bursa for more discoveries yet to come!

Monique   :-)

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