Saturday, March 17, 2012


We spent a week traveling through Turkey. Our first stop--Istanbul.

Among other things we enjoyed a cruise on the Bosphorus, shopping in the Grand Bazaar (and the best baklava I've ever had!), the impressive water cistern of Istanbul, and the infamous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

Turkey is a unique country, the only secular Muslim nation trying to enter the EU. Istanbul is the cultural capital of Turkey and quite the impressive city. Looming on ever hill is a grand mosque, with minarets towering over everything in the surrounding. It's also the only major city to span two continents--Europe & Asia.

Huntsy, Mark, & Makara on a cruise down the Bosphorus 

Istanbul was especially meaningful to me, as I had visited the city 16 years earlier. As I walked through the Grand Bazaar, I was surprised at the memories that came back to me--sitting in a rug shop with my parents bartering for the Turkish carpets that adorn our home, people wanting to touch my "golden" hair, and Turkish delight. I didn't know what Turkish delight was until I bit into it, and then the memories came flooding back. I disliked Turkish delight as a kid. I guess tastes can easily bring back old feelings ;-)

Turkish delight with Sarah Jane!

Hagia Sophia



Friday, March 16, 2012

More Pictures (Before Turkey)

Elevators are the best

The Chapman's are kind of cute :)

We made homemade pita, and it was so hot right off the fire!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

City of David

The "City of David" (Jerusalem as it was during the time of Christ) is in ruins. In fact, the current old city walls are not even inclusive of where the City of David lies. We visited what was left--most significantly Hezekiah's tunnel, a water system built as a preventative measure during the Assyrian invasion of Jerusalem.

Hezekiah's tunnel

Pool of Siloam

Headlamps are the fad these days


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Neot Kedummim

Awhile ago we visited a park that was meant to resemble what life would have been like in Biblical times, known as Neot Kedummim. We crushed hyssop, herded sheep, and watched a man write part of the Torah, among other things. Quite a treat!

That's me grinding hyssop, which we later ate with our lunch!
Sheep herding is much more difficult than expected...I can't imagine doing it alone!

An almond tree. The branch I'm holding would have been similar to the one that "budded" on Aaron's staff, signifying that his tribe was the rightful heir to the Priesthood.

Official Torah scribe--a highly revered and very difficult profession in Jewry