Category

Turkey

Category

Pamukkale

Let’s practice saying this together because we still can’t get it right. Pah-MOO-Kah-lay However you say it, it’s beautiful. I know you’re just here for the pictures, but for those of you that are actually going to go here, here’s some tips. Then the pic explosion. 1. Take the minibus from Denizli Otogar. The train station is right near there too. We chose a hotel next to the bus station so we could walk from the train and bus station. It was perfect. The minibuses leave from the bottom level, Peron 76 (Gate 76). The buses are comfy, seat about 15, and take about 20 minutes to get to Pamukkale. 2. You’ll see the white hill as you’re getting close, but it will disappear as the minibus cuts into the town to the bus station. Keep your bearings straight so you know which way to head when you get out.…

Ephesus

Today was awesome! We woke up at 6am this morning. Not by choice. By a screeching prayer blaring through a megaphone. I think it’s funny that in America they’ve taken prayer out of almost everywhere, but here in Turkey they’re forcefully injecting prayer into everywhere. We tried to fall back asleep, Isa was much better at it than me. I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I’m thinking it may have something to do with the time change – I was in Alaska last week. And then Florida, New York, and now here. I’m afraid to admit it, but I may be getting older. My body isn’t quite as resilient as it used to be. 🙁 Ali Baba served breakfast at 8 and then he drove us and a few others from the house to Ephesus at 9. It only opened 30 minutes before, but it was packed when we got there.…

Selcuk and Ephesus Museum

We left Istanbul this morning. We didn’t have to rush to the airport, which was nice. We got to have breakfast and then relax in the hotel for a little bit. Isa’s putting on a brave face there. Unfortunately, she got food poisoning last night. This is more like how she felt this morning: The 90 minute flight from Istanbul to Izmir was wonderful. It’s one of the least expensive flights we’ve ever taken ($20 each, I think) but they still gave us a warm snack. So good. And the view was surprisingly nice too. We flew Atlas Global because upon arrival in Izmir, they have a free shuttle bus that took us the 45 minute drive down to Selcuk, where we were staying. Isa found the bus out the terminal all the way to the left, and we waited for about 20 minutes (we didn’t have any luggage, so…

Istanbul Mosques, Markets, and Ice Cream

We are loving Istanbul! We walked over 13 miles and 26k steps today! We explored a TON! It all started at the Grand Bazaar. It was much different than we had expected. I was picturing dusty, crowded alleys jam-packed with people and noise and excitement. Definitely not this. It’s grand, for sure, there were so many stores spread out over a big area. It was just so much cleaner and more organized than I had hoped. We were also surprised by the amount of expensive goods – jewelry and high end designers. We figured there’d be more local crafts and cheap souvenirs like the markets we’ve been to in Thailand and Cambodia. From there we wandered up the hill to Süleymaniye Cami, or Suleyman Mosque. So far, this has been our favorite thing to visit – even more than Hagia Sophia (although the scaffolding in Hagia Sophia may have…

Exploring Istanbul: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and more!

I hope you like pictures, because Istanbul is rather photogenic and we had a lot of adventures today. We started off with a fantastic breakfast at our hotel (Edibe Sultan). It was such a good spread of food with lots of options, all turkish. This was round one. I ended up getting 3 plates. We’re staying in Sultanahmet, which is old town Istanbul. We’re within walking distance to pretty much everything, which is why we chose this location. We started off wandering over to the Hippodrome, which features a few obelisks from Emperor Constantine’s reign. The Hippodrome is a large, long open plaza where they organized chariot races. Next to the Hippodrome is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, aka the “Blue Mosque” although we’re not sure why. We were expecting MUCH more blue inside than this. Women are required to wear a scarf or hijab or something inside the mosque and…