Sunday, May 02, 2010

Save your breath

I was going to post pictures, but Blogger is not cooperating.

We're back from our whirlwind 4 days in Jordan (Dead Sea, Petra [AWESOME!!!]) and 4 days in Istanbul (Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar). It was a busy but fun trip. Jordan was pretty good, if a little tiring because of necessary late nights, long drives, and long hike through Petra. My demi-evil twin sister flew over from her home to Jordan and was with us there, and that was pretty cool. Istanbul was good after we finally got into our rented flat (after I yelled at the man on the phone). Istanbul was less hectic, and we had some cool stuff happen to us.

While in Jordan, we went to Mount Nebo, where Moses supposedly looked out over the promised land, and then to Bethany in Jordan. Bethany was pretty interesting because you can go down to the Jordan river, and there is an Israeli tourist spot just opposite. So there are guards on both sides, to monitor the possible Jordan crossing, since at that point, the Jordan isn't much bigger than the creek in my parent's backyard. After that, we went to the Dead Sea. I could float in the Dead Sea's hypersalinated water, which was an interesting experience. After some floating, and comparing the Dead Sea to the freshwater pool at the beach, D and my sister went and bought Dead Sea mud to cover themselves with. That was kind of entertaining. Then we drove to Petra (actually, Wadi Musa, the town by Petra), and the view through the Jordan Mountains was awesome. In Petra, we hiked down the Siq to the Treasury (the big building from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade), which is actually a Nabatean tomb. It's pretty impressive, I will post pictures if I can. I highly enjoyed Petra. After that, it was a 6 A.M. flight out the next day.

We flew to Istanbul, and my nice sister helped us understand the Metro and find our flat. Then we went out to eat at Chilis (D and I go to Chilis in every country [Jordan Chilis - could be the U.S. Seriously.] we visit, so it was a combo Birthday dinner and Chilis visit), after which she flew back to her home. The next day, we went and bought coats (because Istanbul is cold) on the pedestrian shopping boulevard Istiklal Caddeshi in Istanbul, and then went to Sultanahmet Square to get lunch, where we made our Way to a random cafe and had a super-encouraging encounter with an American lady and her friend. We had planned to go to the Hagia Sofia that afternoon, but didn't make it because of our cafe Detour, which was just fine. We went into the Blue Mosque instead. (that's a pretty impressive building, and I thought it was interesting how everyone who was not Muslim had to go to a side entrance to get to the same spot.) The next day, we made it to a crowded Topkapi Palace (where D and I almost succumbed to tourist rage because, well, to be culturalist, Orientals don't have a personal space bubble) and saw a bunch of cool artifacts from the Ottoman period. Then we went to the Hagia Sofia and saw it. The building is impressive. It was the main cathedral of the Byzantine Empire and the Eastern Orthodox Church, then in 1453 the Ottomans turned it into a mosque and removed all the old iconography and plastered over the mosaic walls. There is reconstruction being done, so there were lots of scaffolds, and it is a strange hybrid building. But it's just huge and to think it was built in the 300s is amazing. We also went to the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaars in Istanbul, rode around the Metro system and went to a mall. We also took a joyride on the ferry to Asia. It was a pretty good trip, even though the ending was tiring, because we had to travel overnight and get back here at 8:00 A.M.... so we flew through the night.

But it was a pretty great trip, and one that we probably wouldn't be able to take later in life.

Speaking of life...

I'm pretty excited to announce that I have a job for when we get back in the U.S.! I'm going to be working for a network support company in Omaha, a small company with some sharp people, which is exactly what I wanted. I am really excited that such a job has been Provided to me!

And this is all the time I have for writing now, because I have to do some planning work for our engagement party and our dad's visit next week. That's also really exciting, even though it makes our lives pretty busy.


Tobias Davis said...

Wow, you'll be back in Omaha? That's crazy cool! Which company are you working for, if you don't mind me asking? I'm in Lincoln going to school, but I'll probably be in Omaha every so often.

Russ said...

A company called RUNNetworks. If you're in Omaha, you'll have to stop by!