Phytoncide Funland—by Douglas Tang
Greetings you all! Douglas here to bring you the lasted happenings live from Istanbul.
As our epic adventure continues to play out in this wonderfully complex city, our time left here is down to less a month and a half!
As much as a cliché this it going to sound, I have to throw it out there—it seems just like yesterday when the group landed at Ataturk Airport with unclear expectation, excitement and a great deal of anxiety. Personally, the first impression I had of the city was not the best, mostly because of the sharp increase in population density compared to Rome.
However, I’m much elated to announce that indeed has changed for me. The city has grown on me since the second morning I went out the door. Walking down the streets, it’s plain as day that Istanbul is a whirlwind mixture of cultures. And that fascinating complexity reflects in its architecture, its food and in so many more aspects. However, due to the population boom since 1970s and the consequential overbuilding the city could be somewhat of a stress sometime to maneuver around.
Fortunately yesterday, 3/30/2015, we got the chance to take a time out and escape to a nature gem of the city, Belgrade Forest. It’s a protected nature site north of Istanbul where the city obtains partially its water supply. Everyone was thrilled to be temporarily away from the polluted city air. We hiked, walked, and skittered like little kids among the hilly forest paths, completely submerge ourselves in the refreshing atmosphere and clean air of the nature. We explored a couple reservoirs from the 18th century and did a handful of sketches under the shade of the dense sea of trees.
Here are some pictures of the amazing paradise and a sketch of mine that I’m particularly fond of, because it is particularly telling about the relaxing vibe of our wonderful afternoon spent at Belgrade Forest.
*Spoiler alert: proofs attached at the end—look how happy Peter and the tree were!