Winter Camp in Istanbul

Friends in Istanbul

But first a poem…

Yahya Kemal Beyatlı – From Another Hill

I looked at you from another hill, dear İstanbul!
I know you like back of my hand, and love you dearly.
Come, come and sit on my heart´s throne as long as I live
Just to love a district of yours is worth a whole life.

There are many flourishing cities in the world.
But you´re the only one who creates enchanting beauty.
I say, he who has lived happily, in the longest dream,
Is he who spent his life in you, died in you, and was buried in you.

And an old photo to set the scene…

Old Istanbul

Every journey has its beginnings…

It started off very well until we found that all the buses in Bratislava had died 🙁

No buses to the bus station! 😮

Still, we took taxis and arrived at the bus station on time…

And finally got on the bus to Vienna Airport…

Happy to get on board (even if someone looks as if they have forgotten something)

In no time at all, we were on the plane and flying to Istanbul…

We had a smooth journey to Istanbul and a lovely school bus driver found us and took us to the school.  He was the father of a famous Turkish actress and told us all about his daughter. After a long journey through Asian Istanbul, we reached the school and were greeted by the security team who had to check who we were – security is very tight at the school to keep the children safe.

NUN Okullari – our host school

Next we met Ms Tuğba Ece, the camp organiser and she showed the girls their room and then the boys theirs.  Each night the kids had a film or activity programme and as much in the way of snacks and refreshments as they wanted.

The food was great, and the catering staff were very friendly and helpful.  There weren’t so many other kids our age there, but we made some friends from other Turkish schools and with some of the young volunteer mentors…

Every day we had a full but carefully paced programme introducing us to lots of new and different activities:

Outdoor exploration…

Science investigations…

Mushroom studies…

A visit to the Hagia Sophia…

The Byzantine Underground Cisterns…

Walking through Gulhane Park (Rose Hall Park)…

The Hippodrome (where we took pictures of friends)…

Had lunch in the famous meatball restaurant…

Travelled back on the minibus…

On the minibus

Made Turkish Manti (like tiny ravioli)…

We made pots too with the help of their ceramics teacher…

Our pots

And then we did kickboxing and fitness training…

Careful!
Dangerous girls.

Cycled along the Bosporus…

The Bosporus

Secret Archery…

We ended the trip with a final photo session and …

…presentation ceremony where the school gave us a certificate and a lovely framed photo of each of us with a photo of the group.

And we presented the school with a huge photo book about Slovakia and gave Ms Tuğba Slovak and Austrian chocolate for her friends and a Krteček (‘little mole’ toy).

We enjoyed our stay at NUN Okullari – the campus was so beautiful…

We will miss Istanbul…

It was a wonderful experience, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  Some of us wanted to stay but in the end, it was great to be back at home!

A big thanks to our wonderful hosts who were so kind and generous to us and to Ms Jana and Mr Thorn who organised and looked after us. And of course a big thanks to all of us for being good, polite, going to bed early and waking up each day bright and fresh…

We were bright and fresh every morning! Honest!

2 thoughts on “Winter Camp in Istanbul

  • Avatar
    February 12, 2020 at 4:08 am
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    Excellent work. I appreciate the school team and specially to Mr.Robert Thorn to organize a wonderful learning activity at Isltnbaul.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    February 12, 2020 at 7:15 am
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    Dear Dr Zahid,
    Many thanks for your kind words.
    Best Wishes,
    Robert

    Reply

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