April 14th 2021 Life in Turkey!
As you are probably aware, the area forming modern Turkey used to be called Asia Minor. St Paul was born there & most of his missionary trips were centred on the region. His headquarters for several years was in Ephesus, in Western Turkey, & the 7 churches of Revelation 1-3 were all in the same region. The area is mentioned throughout the book of Acts as well as in many of the epistles. A few centuries later, Santa Claus, (Saint Nicholas), was also from Turkey & became the bishop of Myra — one of the places we visited.
Turkey’s rich history & Mediterranean climate & culture have made it the 6th most visited country in the world for tourism, while Turkish Airlines, far from closing down during the pandemic, continues to fly to 122 countries and 304 destinations all around the world, (info dated March 10th 2021)!
Arriving in Turkey, it felt wonderful to be able to move around freely & even to eat delicious Turkish cuisine in restaurants, however 2 weeks after our arrival, restaurants were closed down & a weekend curfew was introduced, (as though the virus only spreads on weekends!). Fortunately, takeaways were still widely available & we were still free to move around on foot, even on the weekends.
We spent altogether 3 months in Turkey, visiting first historic Istanbul & then the lovely nearby Princes Islands, where one gets a taste of how wonderful the world would be without cars! All automobiles are banned except for a few small golf-cart or wheelchair-style electric vehicles.
We then flew to Antalya & followed a whole series of little towns & Roman ruins up until Bodrum with its famous crusader castle.
During this time, we invited a young person in need to come & join us that had been wanting to overcome his longstanding alcohol addiction but needed a completely new environment in order to make a fresh start. We’re happy to report, 2 months later, that he successfully gave up alcohol & also cut down drastically his use of several other drugs & medications, & will now be starting a paid training course in one week — his first official employment in adult life.
As our 3 month visa was coming to an end soon & Fiji remains closed, we were keeping a close eye on several websites that give regular updates on where it is still possible to travel. We recommend these 2 in particular:
Countries with zero entry restrictions are very few these days & can almost be counted on one hand, but we did manage to find two that are in the same geographical area: one that would be freezing cold in February/March, (Macedonia), & the other that would be …. well, at least warm in parts! A small country with high mountains, many beaches, lakes, ancient churches & monasteries, and tremendous hiking possibilities: Albania!
(to be continued)