A taste of Istanbul - Simpson Prize 2013
A quick note from me before we hear from Jack. Our first day in Istanbul is an opportunity to expose the students to Turkish culture and its place in the world. It is a crucial part of the trip and gives the students Ann understanding who the people are and how that Gallipoli experience has shaped this nation as much as Australia. It is a time where we can encourage the students to think about the position of those men and that nation 100 years ago who were at that time the enemy. It is an important day because it starts a process of understanding part of the Gallipoli campaign that may not be taught in school Or the obvious thought that may to spring to mind. Who was the man in the other trench? It is all done at a slow pace and gives us some time to recover from that flight. Over to Jack;
At the start of the trip we all met enthusiastically and as the group of adolescent teenagers that we are decided to take the initial stage of the trip VERY seriously. It was clear from the start that shared interests would make this group of young Australians very close and it was obvious that the group clicked and would get along very well. This became even more evident as the day went on, with tiredness taking its toll, when the slipping up of words led to some extremely humorous occasions.
Eventually after more than a day of travelling we arrived in Istanbul and rather than retiring to a peaceful retreat and what would inevitably be a long shower and sleep we were given an hour to freshen up. After this we departed the hotel with the destination, a cruise on the Bosphorus. On the cruise we were treated to a guided tour of the sites on the riverside and then a lunch in the warmth of an enclosed cabin. Following this more time was spent on the freezing cold upper deck bonding and taking numerous photographs. The restfulness experienced on the cruise could not last and soon we were thrust into the Turkish culture with a tour through a "hip" street in Turkey. On this tour we experienced Turkish delights and other delicacies as well as the vibrant Turkish culture.
Finally after this experience we were offered a chance to finally rest in the hotel before dinner however most of the students were to keen to experience shopping and the infamous Turkish coffee and so embarked on an adventure into the Grand Bizaar. Five of the braver students with the guidance and involvement of Stuart, experienced the joys of Turkish coffee. To further make this first day an amazing experience we went shopping for the first time and maybe paying to much while buying pashminas. Finally the day was finished with a three course meal on the rooftop of our hotel overlooking the Istanbul skyline. This ended our first day but we were left with the promise of an amazing trip with a wonderful group.