Twenty-three Punahou alumni and friends, led by Mei-mei Zane ’84 Engel, ventured to Turkey last October for the Punahou Alumni Travel Program’s third trip. With its rich history that extends back to the ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, the country is a vibrant melting pot of culture, art, food and religion.
Throughout the two-week tour, alumni from Classes of 1962 – 2007 visited cultural landmarks and natural wonders, took part in various outdoor adventures, and feasted on delicious local cuisine, all while immersing themselves in intriguing Turkish history.
The travelers bonded while exploring the major sites of Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, the Bosphorus Strait, Suleymaniye Mosque and the Blue Mosque. In Cappadocia, the group checked off bucket lists with a sunrise hot air balloon ride overlooking geological wonders.
They also meandered through the centuries-old Kaymakli underground city and cave dwellings carved out of mountainsides, and enjoyed a daylong sail on the crystal blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Other highlights: A traditional Turkish bath experience and a dip in the Pamukkale thermal salt pools; excursions to the ancient cities of Ephesus, Aphrodesias and Heiropolis; and visits to the agrarian village of Etrim, featuring the Turkish cultural craft of carpet making and famed Egyptian Spice Market.
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