We decided to go to Turkey for Christmas, Germany 1977-8
I spent a year abroad in Germany.
They tell you can get your visa at the border, but it is better if you get it ahead of time. This is done by visiting the consulate in another city before your trip, filling out a form, showing your passport and paying a fee. You might also have to give a photograph.
Yugoslavia, yes it was before the breakup. Slovenia, we had crossed the Iron curtain at Klagenfurt Austria for Maribor. The first of many times that year.
Jack Matlock told me although the Croatian language is essentially the same as Serbian it is written in the Latin alphabet. I know many will dispute that statement so don’t get angry. When he met Germans who complained Americans couldn’t speak German he asked oh where do you go on vacation? Dubrovnik, then you speak fluent Serbo-Croatian.
Even in those times Belgrade had a reputation for an active nightlife, especially in the Skadarlija (Скадарлија) area. I remember the Republic square, equestrian statue of Prince Michael, Art museum, and parliament.
We rented a car and driver and personal guide for twenty dollars. I know they thought we were some kind of big shots. The woman was nice. The highlight was the Rila Monastery. We also went to the opera.
When I told my neighbor about my trip she said,I don’t even know where Bulgaria is and you’ve been there.
In Turkey we met two Italians from N. Italy who spoke German, Roberto+Marisa. They became our friends. I corresponded with them for years.
We visited the great Istanbul Grand Bazar. The Pudding shop is a great place to meet people and exchange information. The food’s not bad either even the pudding. It’s loaded with hippies. Istanbul is truly a crossroads between east and west.
We visited the famous underground Basilica Cistern Yerebatan Sarnıcı http://www.istanbultrails.com/2008/06/the-basilica-cistern-the-coolest-spot-in-town/
We stayed in a cheap hotel in Istanbul. It was clean and the people we nice and helpful. They had a full-time cook. I had fried eggs cooked to order everyday for breakfast. We celebrated new Year’s Eve at the hotel with our new friends. The movie Midnight Express had jut come out. Our friends in Regensburg were sure we would never make it back alive. It snowed that year in Istanbul. It get’s dark about five o’clock the same as St. Louis this time of year. Traveling is nice because the crowds are low.
Before we left my friend Beth gave me a language guide Turkisch fur auslander (Turkish for foreigners.) Turkish is an Altaic language, not related to European. At one time the Ottoman Empire occupied half of Europe.
On day when we left our hotel a black car pulled up. A window rolled down a man asked, would you like to go to Asia? Istanbul museum bust of Alexander the great. At the Istanbul Museum we met some students from Pakistan. They told us how much they liked the United States. When I looked at a globe later I realized we where closer to Pakistan than St Louis. The idea that you could drive across Asia. We met a lot of people from England who were doing just that. We met others who were on their way back to England from Hong Kong, India, or Iran.
Topkapi palace is an unbelievable. It has the largest emerald I have ever seen, 3.5 kg. It was the home of the sulltans of the Ottoman Empire. Tea is served in little glasses, just like the ones I bought in Jerusalem. University it wasn’t safe. The hammam is the turkish bath. It is really nice.
We got to the bus depot at night we had to ask for help. It was very crowded. An argument ensued. Somehow we got on the right bus. I wonder ow it would work out today.
Taking the bus to Izmir our Italian friends decided to join us. They don’t speak English. We communicate with Roberto in German. He translates into Italian for her. She is mad at him. He has always told he speaks English, but he doesn’t. They are dating. We got a guide and visited the caravanserai and a carpet shop. People are nice they really want to be your friends. We saw some kids watching the Jetsons in Turkish in a shop on an old black and white tv. We took their picture.
- Elevator Speech – MaKinnah Collins (calvinengineeringsummer2013.wordpress.com)
- Benedict XVI and Germany, yesterday and tomorrow (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- A Glimpse of our Trip to South Eastern Europe (brusselsandbeyond.wordpress.com)
- Istanbul: Cultures and Contrasts (yaminismailblog.wordpress.com)
- Turkish-German relations in a downward trend (worldbulletin.net)
- The Bridge (gofarther.me)
- Ted Gast is an American artist (mysterysim.wordpress.com)
- Overland Istanbul to Cairo. Part 1: Istanbul (vagabondbaker.com)
- Top 5 Places to Visit/Things to Do on my Year Abroad (ataleofmanytravels.wordpress.com)
- Basilica Cistern (manjuagarwal1990.wordpress.com)