Trip Start Jul 2008
Trip End Dec 2008

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Wednesday, October 29, 2008

People often ask us about our plans. Where are we going and when and how. Before setting out on this tour I would have considered this a perfectly reasonable question. But we have learned that while we may have ideas and priorities we do NOT have control over how those play out. This has taken some getting used to but we are learning how to just go with the flow and make the most of whatever adventure unfolds each day. And most days DO include some sort of adventure. And most of these adventures end up exceeding our expectations.

So it was that we ended up Iznik. A breif word about Iznik. Iznik is a small town on the edge of a large lake surrounded by rolling hills and olive groves. More women wear headscarves than not. Coal is still a primary fuel. Street parking is equally shared by cars and tractors. The guidebooks grant it the barest of mentions.

However Iznik is also known as Nicea, where in 325 AD an ecumenical council discussed such topics as the divinity of Christ (oh, THAT Nicea!). This earned Nicea the status of the third most important city in Christiandom (after Jerusalem and the Vatican). You would never know it walking around though.

Iznik is also known for its production of fine ceramic tiles and pottery. There are several fine tile galleries where we could watch artisans working as you browse their wares. Some even took the time to explain the origins and significance of different designs. When we tired of pottery we could stroll past important 14th century mosques, scramble around Roman ruins, taste locally produced olives and olive oil, or chat with Ali our friendly hotel owner.

But remember that Iznęk was not our original destination for that day. Even the route changed part-way into the day. But - once again - we were pleasantly surprised.... to the extent that we ended up staying 3 days in Iznik.

So perhaps when folks ask us about our *plans* we should simply reply
Where - Someplace memorable
How - The scenic route
When - As long as it takes
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