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Coasting In

Coasting In
Atatürk Anıtı statue honoring founder of
modern Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
(photo credit: Brian Kaylor)
Today has been a long day. Or, rather, today and tomorrow have together been a long day. On Saturday morning, I left Missouri to head to Izmir, Turkey for the Annual Gathering of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). Moving ahead 8 hours and flying for 13 hours (not counting layovers) meant I finally arrived about midday in Izmir. Fortunately, I got extra leg room with my seat in an emergency exit row for the long cross-Atlantic flight! I had a layover in Toronto, which allowed me to enjoy Tim Horton's for the first time in three years (an experience that was even tweeted about by Tim Horton's) and to catch the end of Argentina's semifinal World Cup victory. My other layover was in Istanbul, and I enjoyed the opportunity to see that continent-straddling city from the sky.

View of part of Izmir from cab ride
(photo credit: Brian Kaylor)
Sessions do not start until tomorrow but I enjoyed getting to see some of Izmir, a beautiful city on the Aegean Sea. The drive from the airport to the hotel provided a feel for parts of the city. With my hotel overlooking the Aegean Sea, I quickly got over to the coastline to walk, soaking in the sights of mountains, sea, and city merging together beneath the cozy Mediterranean sun and strong sea breeze. The city hosts a mix of classic coastal houses and modern business towers. I also walked over to see St. Polycarp Church (which I will write about in a separate post tomorrow). Today also brought opportunities to eat several Turkish items, including eggplant salad (kind of like potato salad), olives, grilled calamari and fish, Maraş ice cream, and Turkish coffee You can see more photos from my first day in Izmir here. Now time to get some sleep!

(photo credit: Jim Hill)

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