Alisa Hyat Khan
The Bilkent International House kicked off October with a flavorful weekend trip to to the Aegean Sea Coast of Turkey (6th-8th October). 46 students of various nationalities boarded the large Bilkent bus on Friday night prepared for what was expected to be a gruelling 9 hour journey, however the ample rest-stops and positive morale of the travellers made it anything but monotonous.
The journey included a small birthday celebration on the bus, various games being played across the vehicle and of course, given the time, plenty of sleeping. At around 8:00 am on Saturday morning we reached a remote town 3 km from the better known Ephesus region where a lavish Turkish breakfast was arranged complete with cheeses, breads, condiments, çay, etc.
Straight afterwards the group visited the ancient Greek ruins of Ephesus; the natural aesthetic beauty and continual great weather followed us through the entire two hour walk amongst the statues and stone amphitheaters. Apart from taking a variety of photographs, we splurged on ice-creams and a plethora of fridge magnets before getting back on the bus to continue the journey onward to Çeşme.
We reached the five star Boyalik Beach Hotel and Spa at midday and checked-in smoothly. Whatever lethargy one had expected to experience vanished as the remainder of the day was spent on the beach or in the crystal clear turquoise water.
Dinner was at the hotel; a buffet complete with steaks, salads, desserts, various drinks and a view of the well-lit pool. At 8 pm, we departed once more towards Alaçatı, a quaint, charming town twenty minutes from Çeşme. We roamed the cobbled streets, maneuvered through lively cafés and pubs, witnessed an elaborate proposal complete with fireworks thus making our own experience all the more magical.
After evading a distant, looming thunderstorm all day, we fell at the mercy of the clouds at midnight when the majority of the travellers were tucked away in their rooms or relaxing on balconies at the hotel.
The rain served as a fitting finale for the eventful weekend as we made our way back to Ankara the following afternoon.
We reached Bilkent at 10:30 pm, happily exhausted and fully satisfied with the entire trip.