Turkey 6 October: İstanbul

The ancient capital on two continents.

On Sunday in Belgrade forest near İstanbul we met with our friends from Adım Adım. It's an organization of runners gathering money for charity organizations by running and putting together races.

For example, this year they support and orphanage village in Koruncuk nearby.

Ekin is a smaller version of our Turkish coordinator Sayra, and her look melts glaciers.

Before we started our morning run runners spent a moment with the torch.

6k run on a nice trail around the forest lake.

It was the very last km in Turkey this year, so we didn't lag behind!

"Run in pursuit of goodness."

Finished!

Unfortunately the İstanbul city is lacking in green spaces, so many people escape to this pleasant forest on weekends.

We went to take a look at a 28km trail race nearby.

The organizer is also member of Adım Adım and we were happy to take a photo together.

Interviewed by national TV channel.

Gözde received the Certificate of our Appreciation on behalf of Adım Adım for all the help and smiles.

This is how proper vegetable/fruit shop should look like. It's sad we're nowhere close to this in Czech Republic.

Visiting the Mevlana Sufi centre in İstanbul's Galata.

It's one of the main centres of the order of whirling dervishes in Turkey.

Viviane, Puneeta's niece, is living in İstanbul for some time now and she helped us with translations.

Dervishes preparing for sema.

Sema is a practice of whirling bringing heaven to earth. The Dervishes act as the medium between heaven and earth and the "Love" energy of "Allah" goes through them throughout the length and breadth of earth.

You can see it as one palm raised to heaven while the other is facing down towards Earth.

The dervishes enter into a state of love intoxication for all beings.

The grandmaster of the order.

He was very happy to see us and so were we!

The grandmaster in civil clothing...

...invited us for çay together with other dervishes.

We very much enjoyed the inspiring chat and are looking forward to meet again!

Dining out on rooftops of Galata is mesmerizing.

İstanbul is a magical city with lots of energy but sometimes it can be exhausting as well.

"Gamble everything for love, if you are a true human being."
-- Mevlana Rumi