Psych students explore Turkey and Greece

(08-17-2012)

Can you imagine landing in Istanbul Turkey after flying 15 hours, then taking a traditional Turkish bath? That's exactly what many of the nine Adams State University students did when they arrived in Istanbul on Sunday, June 10.

As Felicia Carter described it, all of the Adams State women put on their swimsuits and went into a giant marble room. The ceilings were very high with holes to let in the sunlight. They laid on marble slabs, began to sweat heavily, and then received a massage by the female attendants. Most of the other women in the bath were naked. Ms. Carter noted that this very intimate social event contrasted sharply with the head-to-toe clothing that many women wore on Istanbul's streets.

The students who traveled to Turkey and Greece were enrolled in an Adams State course taught by Drs. Rob Demski and Leslie Alvarez. The students were prepared for the 12-day trip by 15 weeks of reading about the history, culture, religion, politics, food, art, music, and geography of Turkey and Greece. Participating students included John Burkhart, Felicia Carter, Jordan Hartley, Tucker Jones, Carolyn Koch, Rikki Leyba, Crystal Pimentel, Dana Reed, and Brittney Siler. They were also required to do oral presentations and keep a travel journal.

While in Istanbul, the students also explored the 15th century palace of the Ottoman rulers, the world famous Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616, and the Grand Bazaar. The students also had the opportunity to taste Turkish ice cream, which is made from goat's milk and is somewhat elastic. From Istanbul, the students also saw the ancient ruins of Troy. They also explored the ruins of Pergamon and Ephesus, which date back from the 5th and 10th centuries BC, respectively.

The students departed Turkey and set sail for a two-night cruise of the Greek islands. They stopped first at Patmos, where the apostle John was said to have written the Book of Revelations. The group continued on to the island Santorini, where they explored the old city of Fira, which sits at the rim of an old volcano which exploded about 1635 BC. According to the student accounts, the volcano still releases steam and hot water into the Aegean Sea. The tour ended in Athens, where the students had the opportunity to explore the Acropolis, do some shopping in the Plaka, the old quarter of Athens, and fend off gypsies trying to sell their wares.

Carolyn Koch summarized the spirit of the trip nicely when she reported in her travel journal that she really loves traveling, because allows one to truly live in the moment. This is because you don't know what to expect, you just go and see what comes your way. It is those moments that are truly memorable!

Psychology Department