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Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

For our final Turkey installment, we landed in Kusadasi, with day trips to Pamukkale and Ephesus.  Cappadocia was much more my speed, probably in part because it was so HOT in the Kusadasi area. We also had a terrible, terrible guide for our day trip to Pamukkale.  He was rude and our bus was so overcrowded on the way back that someone had to sit on the floor!  Not good. But, Pamukkale is a cool site.  It looks like snow in the middle of the summer.

Pamukkale's Travertine Terraces

Kusadasi is such a beach town, which is normally not my favorite.  But Sarah made me appreciate beach towns in a new light.  There’s something about them that signifies summer and all of the awesomeness that comes with summer.

Kusadasi at Night

I had actually been to Ephesus in high school on a whirlwind European tour that included a brief stopover at the ancient ruins.  The library was one of the only things I remembered clearly.

Library at Ephesus

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Cappadocia, Turkey

After Istanbul, we went to Cappadocia.  After a minor mishap (missing our first flight!), we made it without any problems.  It’s a beautiful area with lots of ruins and famous for hot air balloon rides.  Plus, we stayed in a cave hotel–awesome!

Fairy Chimneys

Hand-painted Ceramic Plates. So expensive!

Watermelons

Cappadocian Cave House

Cappadocian Mosque

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I did find Istanbul overwhelming.  You’d think I’d learn my lesson traveling to big cities–Bangkok, New York, London.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re great cities, but I find them too big to manage, at least initially.  The more I visit a bigger city, the more I like it.  I guess it just takes getting used to for me.

Spice Bazaar

Even though Topkapi Palace was my favorite of Istanbul’s sites, the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are still impressive.

View of Blue Mosque from Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia was a church and then a mosque and now a museum.  It’s so interesting to see the design of a church with the high ceilings and the vaulted domes, with elements of a mosque, like the round discs with Arabic on them and the angels whose wings have been rubbed out.

Hagia Sophia

The Basilica Cistern was cool.  If my memory is right, according to our Rick Steve’s Istanbul Guide Book (which I would highly recommend), the cistern was forgotten about for a long time until people started noticing water seeping into the ground.  How do you forget about an awesome place like this?!

Basilica Cistern

My absolute favorite “must do” in Istanbul was the ferry cruise we took on our last day there.  It was a relaxing change of pace compared to hectic Istanbul.  Taking a leisurely ferry cruise to see the Bosphorus was an excellent way to see more sites without too much effort.

Bosphorus

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Istanbul: I

Back in July, I took a trip to Turkey with my friend Sarah.  It was a great trip and I enjoyed being in the European-esque city of Istanbul and exploring other parts of the country.

Istanbul Mosque at Dusk. Beautiful and magical.

My favorite site of the trip to Istanbul was probably Topkapi Palace.  We got there just as it opened, which was awesome since we beat all of the cruise ship crowd and other tourist crowd.

Interior view of Topkapi Palace

Baklava!

I might have gone a bit crazy eating baklava multiple times a day. Yum.

Mosque at Sunset

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