2011 Adventures through Brazil and Turkey

Hi there!
I would like to share with you, a note Ana Maria put together about our last adventures through Brazil, Greece & Turkey.

hope you enjoy it!

Alvaro Castagnet

Dear All,

I want to THANK so many people for the 2 wonderful weeks I just had, traveling and working with friends and Alvaro.

We were so fortunate to being expose to different cultures, customs, ways of living, and overall, meeting lots of people, that today we are so lucky to call friends.

We started our trip in Brazil, visiting our hosts Orlando & Carmem , in their most beautiful home, located in a magical place, called Ihla Bela, near Sao Paulo.
We found ourselves captivated by the warmth’s attention of everyone there and the amazing views over the sea.

After our wonderful 4 days stay in the island, and busy sightseeing tour around massive Sao Paulo, we took off to Athens, via Madrid, where unexpectedly we had to stay overnight, due to an airplane malfunction.

We finally got to our Hotel in Plaka, the oldest section of Athens, where most of the streets have been closed to automobile traffic, so it was perfect for us to walk around, despite the relentless hot weather! so, we took ourselves all the way uphill in search of Greece’s most famous archaeological site and historic landmark, the Acropolis.

Even though sometimes we were gasping for breath, the amazing sensation to marvel at the greatest of all archaeological sites was so rewarding, we almost forgot how hot it was.
Below the Acropolis is the theater of Herod Atticus built by the Romans in 161 AD we were told is still used today for classical concerts, ballet, performances of high cultural value, pity there were none schedule while we were there. got a nice picture though!

As soon as we walked down, we were ready for a fresh Greek Salad and some fish, it had cool down, and the evening was just perfect!

Early next day, we headed on a fast ferry to Santorini…island of impressive sunsets, black & red beaches, houses clinging to the edge of the cliffs, makes for some fantastic photos.

Mykonos is a wonderful island, with a lovely village feel to it, where whitewashed walls and blue shutters are the order of the day.

We had heaps of fun, hiring a 4×4, and went off to sightsee most of the island, beautiful beaches, & driving around a sometimes confusing maze of narrows streets, (yes, we did get lost!!) squares and illogically placed buildings, full of shops, welcoming cafes and restaurants.

Then it was time to reach our final and most awaited destination…Istanbul!
We LOVED it!….an exotic city, full of variety and contrasts ….and contrast is what Alvaro talked about during his demonstration at the ISIK University , and through out the week workshop he lead through the streets and most famous buildings of Istanbul.

It was Ramadan, and the streets and squares will fill up at night, with people, food, music and celebrations.
We were treated almost like Sultan’s, with up most care and warmth. We were even photographed in great details, and during the hole experience by a professional.

Numerous anecdotes will stay with us forever, together with the experience of painting in Burhan Ozer’s studio, being translated by our own “Sunshine”, immensely photograph by “rose” and perfectly organized by our dearest friend “Ayse’

This has been an amazing trip, which I personally have been looking forward to with great anxiety.
I felt great, and enjoyed it immensely, maybe even more, as it came after going through a tough year…

So, my friends, even though from time to time we all struggle, there is always something good waiting for us.

Life is wonderful!
How great that is!

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