Wednesday, June 3, 2009

To Camlica and Back Again

Today we travelled to Camlica (which is pronunced Chaam - li-ja) on the Asian side of the city. It is the highest point in the city and you can see for miles in every direction. As far as the eye can see there is building after building. The city fades into the distance as the haze and the horizon converge over buildings that look like miniature models across the vast landscape. It was awe-inspiring to imagine the millions upon millions of people that we gazed upon as we looked over the city. More amazing, is that almost all these people have never heard the true story of the One who has sent us. Such darkness and despair in an area that once was central in the beginning of our faith.

We had great success in meeting many people in shops, restuarants, and other establishments as we hiked up to Camlica and (after lunch and resting) back down again. I believe 24 people received the gifts we had to offer. What joy there is in knowing that the Word will not come back void. Our deepest desire is that our gifts will be used by those that we gave them to, but also that the gifts might be passed along to co-workers, friends, and family members so that many more people are exposed to the One who has made this trip possible. As you remember us on our trip, specifically think about those who will be using our gifts and that they might open their hearts to the truth and the good news we have shared with them. Wouldn't it be wonderful to see more of our Turkish brothers and sisters on the other side of eternity. I hope you enjoy the pictures from today's travels. Until tomorrow, Iyi geceler, Yarin gorusuruz (Good night, See you tomorrow).

This was taken after we hiked up several kilometers to get to Camlica. This picture is of the Asian side of the city. In case you were wondering, those taller buildings are skycrapers. It was getting very hot, so after some water, rest, food, and meditating over this city we made the trek back down to the ports along the Bosphorus Strait.

Here you see Jessica and Leigh posing in a marble gazebo with some "cok guzel" (pronounced: Chak Goozel - very beautiful) roses hanging overhead. Actually I think the ladies were resting more than posing after the long hike up to Camlica.

This is a view back over to the European side of the city. Yes you can see more skycrapers and a large bridge on the left side of the picture. Where we caught the ferry back to the European side of the city was not too far from the bridge. And yes, we walked a majority of the way up and back down this mountainside. Our guide called it a "healthy walk." I think everyone on the team would chose a different word than "healthy." Words like "extremely long" or "marathon" come to mind. However, the walking allowed us to engage many Turks in conversation as we stopped along the way.

These four young girls were sitting in a park atop Camlica. They were very kind and sweet as they sat there looking out over the city in quiet conversation. Actually,there were three boys sitting near them trying to muster up enough nerve to talk with these lovely young girls. I guess young love is the same all over the world. It makes me glad that I am not a teenager.

Now that is what I call parallel parking! We noticed this car on our way back down the mountain from Camlica. I wanted to meet the driver that can fit a car in that tight of a space. In reality it was backed into that spot by a parking attendent. I hope the driver of this car wasn't planning on leaving soon, because there were three or four cars parked end-to-end without so much as 2 inches between them. Maybe the driver could get out his chainsaw and cut the tree down in order to leave.

I noticed the "34" license plate and for a fraction of a second thought, "Hey, they must be from Geneva County. I wonder if they are from Slocomb, Hartford, or maybe Samson." It must take a long time to commute from Geneva County, Alabama to Turkey. Talk about a high gas bill! Speaking of high gas bills, a gallon of gas in Turkey is about $12.oo.

Greg wanted to compare the Turkish version of KFC to the American version. It was good, but we all agreed that Colonel Sanders was better than Sultan Sanders in preparing some good 'ole southern fried chicken. We think the Turks left out a few of the spices in the original recipe.

Jessica and Leigh opted for the Pizza Hut that was located next to KFC. There opinion was that it was just about as good as back in the states. And they had an all you can eat pizza, pasta, and salad buffet. Thanks again Greg for making Chuck and I go to KFC!


  1.'ve got to be kidding me. I can't believe you guys gave up "Outstanding" Turkish food for KFC.

    Lee, thanks for the updates. You are truly gifted at sharing the experiences of the trip in writing. It leaves us wanting for more. I wish you could return with us later in the fall to chronicle the events of the trip. Looking forward to hearing about tomorrow. Talked to Dad about you guys today. Keep it up! Just think one more day until you get to enjoy the Grand Bazaar ;-)

    One more thing...tell Chuck not to forget about my kilo of pistachio baklava.

  2. I will go to the Grand Bazaar again, so that the others cab have that"experience." I would rather sit outside and have a quiet conversation with our host. The two hours I spent in the Grand Bazaar last year were abour an hour and 55 minutes more than any man should be required to endure (give or take 3 minutes).
    By the way, Chuck got the message.

  3. opps, sorry "can" not "cab"

    I can spell, really. I just can't type worth a toot