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I was tempted to do some downhill racing.

This post may or may not be short, it all depends on how much I can focus, since I am sick with the flu. I went to Bursa, Turkey yesterday. It’s approximately 230-250 kilometers from Istanbul and consequently, it was a long day. The tour did take advantage of the ferry, which cuts the time it takes to get to Bursa and back. Nevertheless, I still didn’t get home until almost mid-night. Ugh. Fortunately, I had a good time during the actual tour, as the symptoms didn’t really hit me until the bus and ferry return. I knew something was up with my health, as I had been having a sore throat and a bit of chronic coughing the day before. I only had throat lozenges, so my nose drained constantly through the night, until I finally fell asleep from exhaustion.

I still felt like crap when I woke up this morning and only having to walk to the laundry/drycleaners got me out of bed. This is the one disadvantage of traveling around the world – you are always thinking about when you will have to do laundry, where is the closest laundry/dry cleaners (especially pertinent if your hotel does not have on or it is too expensive), and questioning why you didn’t bring your mom along for the trip. Just kidding mom! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Part of our tour group. They probably all thought of me as the crazy American.

After I finished that chore, I took a shower and hit the sack again. It’s now 5pm and I am trying to motivate myself to go to dinner, or minimally, get some orange juice and some fruit. Fast forward to 7:45pm, I am back from dinner. I’m fairly surprised that I was hungry at all. I think, or rather I hope I can go out tomorrow.

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This is me posing in the Green Mausoleum. Mausoleums are usually reserved for Sultans.

So, this is a quick summary of my trip to Bursa . . . I was picked up by the tour company at my hotel early in the morning and we picked up a few other people, then made our way across the “gateway to Asia” via the Fatih Sultan Mehmed suspension bridge. After approx. 30 minutes of driving, we caught a ferry to cross the Bosphorus, which allowed us to significantly shorten the trip to Bursa. Bursa is the first capital city of the Ottoman empire. We visited the beautiful Grand Mosque and the Green Mausoleum, which was only 100 meters away. We also had lunch in this area and did a bit of shopping too. During lunch, I was able to meet and chat with almost the dozen other people on the tour. All of them were from the middle east, e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, etc. Everyone was quite nice and friendly to me. Also curious, as many asked me questions about Obama, the gun control issue, immigration, etc. I was equally curious about events in Egypt and Algeria, since both countries have had revolutions in the last couple of years.

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Mosaic in mosque.

What else? Almost forgot, we went to the top of Mount Uludag (which means Olympus) and believe me, I was tempted to buy a ski lift ticket and ski for the hour we had up there, just to say I skied in Asia. My ex wife was a champion amateur skier and I suspect she would have definitely bought the lift ticket and gotten in a few runs. So, that was my day in Bursa and like I said, I really enjoyed this tour, although I was not feeling well by the time we began our return back to Istanbul. By the by, I have approximately 3-4 posts on things I have done in Turkey, but my WIFI connection has been terribly inconsistent, so I haven’t even attempted to draft them. I am attempting to rectify this issue with a new application I discovered, WordPress For Android. Ha. For all I know, it has been available for months and I just didn’t know about it. You’ll notice that the photos do not have captions, not because I don’t want to add them, but because I am uncertain how to do it on this application.* Regardless, I will see how this works out and determine if I will continue to use the application. Please provide suggestions if you have any. Thank you. Take care, Steve

* I figured out how to do captions on the WordPress application for Android. More important, I think this tool is much more consistent and easy then doing it via a browser. I still have lag time on my WIFI connection, but it doesn’t cause issues with inputing blog information, especially photos. I am stoked about this, since it has been quite difficult to post blog threads and this will likely cut down on the amount of time I spend on each one. Good deal! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Part of mosque ceiling.

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Mausoleum.

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Mausoleum was for this Sultan and his family.

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