July 23, 2009

Turkey was Wild and Wonderful

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We just spent the last few days in Istanbul and in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey. The adventure started with a guest lecture and field trip for the students in my Sustainable Communities class. Professor Kevser Ustandag, whom I have corresponded with over the past few months, came on the ship along with five of her students to present on 'Sustainability in Istanbul.' After their presentation we all went to her university for a brief tour and then by public ferry to the car-free Princess Islands. There we toured the island by horse-drawn carriage. It was a fantastic experience for my students and I to connect with Turkish colleagues interested in planning for sustainability and other matters "green." To see a short video about Dr. Ustandag and her work here in Istanbul, check out this clip called Taking a Bite Out of Traffic in Istanbul Turkey.

We also had a wonderful time checking out the highlights of Istanbul, including the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bizarre, the Spice Market, and the wonderful land and sea transit system. We LOVED the food and thoroughly enjoyed people watching in this amazing city with over 12 million proud citizens.

Two of our days here were spent in Central Turkey at a World Heritage Site known as Cappadocia. The Cappadocia region is largely underlain by deposits from ancient volcanoes that erupted approximately 9 to 3 million years ago (late Miocene to Pliocene epochs). The rocks of Cappadocia have eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Simply amazing!

For a 4 minute video montage of our adventures in Istanbul and Cappadocia, check out the link entitled Wild and Wonderful under the photo below.

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Wild and Wonderful

Posted by rohwedde at July 23, 2009 11:01 AM