All my bags are packed I’m ready to go. ~John Denver
I purchased the final tickets today, the tickets that take me from Istanbul to Nevsehir to Izmir and back to Istanbul. The tickets to and from Turkey were purchased a couple of weeks ago and the hotels were booked this past weekend. Excitement for my upcoming trip to Turkey, to one of the ancient lands ripe with a history that is centuries older than the recorded history of my United States, is palpable. My anticipation of this trip is so high that I am ready to bust out of my skin.
My trip will require lots of walking, walking through the streets of Istanbul where I will encounter the magnificence of the Blue Mosque, a Muslim holy place, an architectural and artistic wonder, hiking in the mountains in Capadocia, exploring ancient cities built under the earth in caves. Capadocia is an ancient enclave mentioned as far back as 6 BC when the Persians were a still a formidable empire. I will sleep in a cave hotel, a hotel built into the side of a mountain with rooms that are carved out of solid rock.
From there I go to Izmir on the West Coast of Turkey. This part of the trip will take me to the ruins of Ephesus. I will walk the same streets as the Apostle Paul. When I visit the ruins, I will possibly sit in the same places Paul sat when he lived in this historic, Roman city.
I am, currently, not in shape for all this walking. The winter fat has taken hold and settled in my midsection. So, today, I started my training plan, started riding a stationary bike to help me get conditioned for all the walking and hiking I have planned for the 10 day trip. I plan on exercising 4 to 5 days a week so I have the stamina for the exploratory walks through Istanbul, for the hikes up the mountains and through the caves of cappadocia, for my excursions through the ancient city of Ephesus.
The only problem with the trip is that it still a few months off. I am oozing excitement, breathing anticipation and I won’t be on the jet plane until mid May.