Meeting Constantine, Rufus and Brutus

Posted on January 19th, 2012 by

Hey ya’ll, I’m coming at you with a writeup of our goings-on yesterday, Jan. 18th, in Istanbul, Turkey. Unfortunately, I shot all of my pictures of the day on film (that has yet to be developed), so I regret to inform you that there won’t be any pictures accompanying this entry.

 

We started the day off right by breaking our fast at Kale Café, which sat at the base of one of Istanbul’s big hills no more than 50 meters from the Bosporus. Breakfast was incredible: at least three kinds of breads, a delicious cream/honey combination spread, multiple cheeses – including one from Cyprus – along with fresh vegetables and easily the best eggs I have ever had.

After breakfast, we waddled up the hill to visit Asli’s alma mater, Boğaziçi University. The University was located at the top of the aforementioned hill, which happened to be very large. When I say this thing was a large hill, that’s no exaggeration. Complaining about the walking up “The Hill” back at GAC is absolutely laughable in the face of this monster. I’m not ashamed to admit that the average group heart rate had quickened very early on into our climb.

Reaching the top, we arrived at a beautiful mall. People say GAC looks a bit like Hogwarts…this place combined what looked like stately East Coast American university architecture and Hogwarts, all the while sitting on top of a huge hill. I was immediately jealous of anyone who would have the pleasure of seeing this every day of their college career. Search Flickr.com for “Boğaziçi university” if you want a taste. Beautiful stone buildings on an enormous greenspace that was in no way diminished by the thin layer of ice that has occasionally stalked our Istanbul visit.

Keeping in theme with the animal-filled disposition of our trip, there were (of course) two golden lab dogs laying on the lawn. Being a wildlife loving group, we naturally named and adopted the dogs into our tour group. Drew (Hajji) was quick on the draw with the names “Brutus” and “Rufus.” A big dog and a smaller dog: take a guess for which one was which.

We (including the dogs) moved across the campus to a scenic overlook over the Bosporus. Normally, the breathtaking view of the strait would be the main attraction, but not for us: there were cats.

A few of the cats, including a particularly insistent subject dubbed Constantine (supposedly, years of college education make one – if nothing else – clever), had the amusing habit of perching on its holder’s shoulders, in the fashion of a parrot. Never before has a group of Gusties been so easily entertained. I’m sure pictures of these cat shenanigans will show up at some point on this blog.

After heading down the hill and away from the university, we had a nice, sunny walk along the Bosporus, before eventually making it back to the hotel.

The night’s event was a whirling dervish show. This show was a Sufi religious ceremony featuring performers who dance – er… whirl – in a coordinated manner wearing long, flowing garments that accent and emphasize the synchronicity of the whirling. The whirling was set to traditional music, and combined with the order of the spinning, moving fabric, had a rather hypnotizing effect.

Breakfast, the walk, the university (cat) visit, and the dervish show made it a pretty full, tiring day. It’s amazing to think that we’ve seen and experienced so much already having been in Istanbul for only such a short time. With not many days left, here’s to hoping for more full, tiring days to come!

If you would like to see any of the pictures I’ve made of the trip so far, you’ll find them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarkkampfe/

 

Yours, Clark

 

 

 

Comments are closed.