The next day I went to the town to take photos and go sightseeing in historical sites. I went to a castle and one of the staff let me visit the monuments without charging me any money. The castle had been constructed in a way that I had to pass through several steps which had been made in a spiral way. I climbed it without taking off my skates. It was a dangerous action, but I liked to take it as so many other places that I had done so. When I got to the top of it, there were some tourists who told me that I was mad but when they heard the story of my journey they instantly come to take photo with this mad. I got interview with some newspapers and television of Fathiye as well then took up my way again.
My next destination was Mugla. The road of this city was unimpressive because it was mountainous and impossible.
The following city of Fathiye was Izmir that remains me lots of memories. I was passing by a gas station in Izmir when I asked a guy for a washroom when I was getting out of there he called me and invited me to a cup of tea and this was the story of my getting acquaintance with this family. They really presented the hospitality of people in this city through the breakfast, lunch and the whole period that I was their guest.
When I talked with them about the activity that I was performing, he said that I should be their guest as far as I was in that city while he didn’t have any knowledge about me. He was eager to take part in the way which I was going on with any minor help that he afford to do.
Anyway, we talked about everything. He was a very open minded man who had undergone lots of adversities in his life. He explained to me his background and the events that had occurred to him after the death of his mother. I was so glad to be with such a man whose life was all full of demanding memories that standing the difficulty of each one for one person was so hard to do, let alone all of them. He loved all the people who were working in that gas station like his children and like to back them as a father.
The time that I was in my new friend’s house, I received the affection of his family, neighbors and on the whole all the people who were their relatives or mutual friends. It was not so far-fetched to me because Turkish people are very warm and kind. This matter was proved for me in several cities and because of being familiar with them, they felt more convenient with me. I am grateful to them and would say bravo!
He introduced me to his son who was involved in advertising activities. When we ate lunch, we arranged to talk with one of those huge multi-story malls’ manager to be the sponsor of my welcome ceremony in that city if it was possible. We went there and gave our suggestion and were asked for a time to call up the complex manager who was on trip. They gave negative answer to our suggestion but it didn’t make any change in our plan.
I asked my new friend to give me an interview about Izmir and Turkey. We had an about two-hour interview in different times and It became an interesting interview.
We went to visit one of the crowded markets of town at night in which there weren’t anyone else later than 10 PM. We strolled a lot and talked about cancer patients, sport and life. My friend said a quotation of Shams Tabrizi which I wanted to relate it here to you: “the human’s fate is not the path that he is going through. The fate is something which is determined by him at a dilemma with choosing the right or left way. So how do you want to comprehend that adoption of a path is bad for you?”
The morning that I got up I went to Physical Education Board. I introduced myself but they were already familiar with me and the activity that I was performing via TV programs and news. I was so glad to get familiar with the manager of Physical Education Board who was a wrestling champion and had a world title. How much wonderful it is that there is someone in position of management who’s a part of life was dedicated to athletics and could comprehend athletes much better. I must congratulate him on his choosing as the manager. I was so happy of being with such a man. A reporter had also come to give me an interview.
I was guest in the Physical Education Board for one night, so that I could take a rest and carry on my way for the next city. We organized a farewell ceremony with the attendance of reporters in cooperation with Physical Education Board. I went to dormitory and put my objects there and went to the town for photography. I took many photos from several sceneries in which the sea, birds and sky were more focused. I saw a group of skaters and invited all of them for the day after ceremony. We had a long chat and some of them were aware of my journey. I said goodbye to them and went back to the dormitory, transferred the pictures to my laptop and fell a deep sleep.
I got up the next morning and had a light breakfast because I wanted to take a walk. The time that we had gone to the mall to talk with the manager, downstairs of it and in a sporting goods shop, I got familiar with a skater with whom I skated along to out of Izmir after having an interview in goodbye ceremony and bidding farewell to the officials. He invited me to have breakfast there and then continue my way. After doing so and seeing his brother, who was an athlete, I went on my way and they saw me off to the end of the street. I really thank to them.
The city of Balikesir was expecting me. I moved toward it. By the arrangement that a friend of mine had made with the Physical Education Board of that city, they were waiting for me to welcome and help me with my lodging. The cities road was better than others’. Actually there were some difficulties as well, such as mountainous terrain or upside parts or some minor happenings like a rain which made me a bit wet and a dog that ran after me.
I took some pictures with my friends in Physical Education Board. A friend of my friends in Kayseri called me up and was shocked by my attendance in this city. We instantly made an appointment first thing in morning and ate “Mercimek” that is a local breakfast (a kind of soup made of lentil). We walked around the town a little and visit some places such as Department of Education and some historical sites and other places.
I was supposed do my jobs till night then go to their house. My skates needed to be serviced. Therefore, I sat at a corner of the city’s famous park and engaged doing it. I dismantled all of it and assembled again. In the meanwhile, I talked to several people. One of them was a skating athlete and four were aged women and also a student who had come to this city lately. Each one had a different mentality. They all were nice and friendly. There was a music band which was practicing with their instruments like Daf, Tonbak and such things. They were taking it amazingly that a member of them start disputing with the other one so their practicing came to end.
Until my friend appeared, I responded to an invitation for having a cup of tea and we were together that my friend came. Trouble had happened to his father that he had to go to Kayseri. He offered me to get their key and go to their house, but I couldn’t accept it. I thanked him and said that I would solve the problem of my night’s stay myself. After about one hour after our goodbye time, I had been looking for a hotel and fortunately the manager of Physical Education Board solved my troubles again.
I was there the night and left for Canakkale. Whenever I talked to the people whom I met in all cities throughout the travel and asked about historical sites of Turkey, they emphasized that I should visit this city. Finally, I chose my course from this way too. The road from Canakkale to Balikesir was terrible for skating even in some parts it was an awful road for drivers as well.
The coastal city of Canakkale is very famous owing to Trojan Horse and historic wars that had occurred there. Sight of Trojan Horse caught me off guard. It was unbelievable that this wooden horse was a time the reason of a castles downfall and an empire’s collapse.
This city also possessed many restaurants and coffee houses which were really crowded. While I was seeing the sights on the beach, I noticed a tour guide who was transporting people to the other parts of the sea; to the place where was the burial place of martyrs but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to go there.
After a short time stay in that city I went to the European side of Turkey by ships which commuted between the two continents and I entered Istanbul through “Tekirdag”. Finally, my journey had arrived in its terminal city.
Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey and its economic and cultural center. Istanbul is considered the third greatest hubs of tourism in world which is located next to the Bosporus and the Sea of Marmara. The Bosporus separates the two continents of Asia and Europe and Istanbul is the only big city in the world which is in two continents. The natural harbor of Golden Horn or Halij (which is derived from Arabic word Khaleej, meaning gulf) is positioned in this city. This mega city has been chosen as the cultural capital of Europe in the year of 2010. Istanbul is so crowded city and people from all countries and all colors are haunting constantly to this big city.
Finally, the fifth journey had arrived in its terminal city. I had 10 days’ time to be able to complete my tour in Istanbul. According to the matter that no one was aware of my arrival in Istanbul, I relaxed in a hotel so that I could inform my friend with full energy. I talked to one of my friends who is living in America via internet (the friend who helped me in Antalya to find a place to stay). He introduced me to a friend and fortunately the problem of my accommodation in this span was solved and it really deserved appreciating.
The other one of my friend in Istanbul explained the story of my journey to Physical Education Board of this city by frequent contacts that he had made with them. They also got under way to help me. It had been supposed that welcome ceremony be held in Taksim square. We were following a strict schedule to get prepared for it; some activities like inviting officials, reporters, fans and so on.
Regarding to the little time, we didn’t know how many followers would take part in it. Even so, we had to do our best. The target was very important to me because I could make money in favor of cancer patients by the advertisement of this program and selling the photos, videos, and even this book in future.
Due to the lack of time I had to take care of most of the tasks. I boarded the ship and went to the Asian side of Turkey to visit Istanbul Physical Education Board officials. They wanted to write an application letter to get the license of the ceremony from the government. I wrote it and took it myself to the government on the other side of Turkey with another text which was added to it. Finally, I managed to get the license since night.
In the meantime, I gave a call to the friend that I had been supposed to stay in their house. We set an appointment and find each other quickly and I went to their home. My new friend was majoring in the medical field in Turkey University.
We invited some departments like the Canada embassy, Physical Education Board and government to attend our welcoming ceremony. A group of Istanbul skaters joined us as well and made the celebration more pleasing. Some other skaters from other parts of Turkey had come that this presence also made me so happy. Happily, some individuals had also participated from the Canada embassy and the management of Physical Education Board. About 15 reporters of the city television and newspapers had attended. It was a good ceremony. I appreciate all people who had gone to trouble for this ceremony.
Nothing notable occurred during the ten days that I was in Istanbul; just skate and sleep. One day in this period my friend accompanied me with bike and we skated a lot. The other pleasing matter which occurred in this period was that I was applauded by the Canada embassy for carrying out this journey around Turkey as a Canadian residence. One day also, my new friends that I was guest in their house arranged a party so that I released the tiredness of those days out of my body. I almost walked around all places of Istanbul and attended in some TV programs. Finally, I relaxed in airplane from Istanbul to Toronto in 08/07/2012.