Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

Mediterranean | Day 15 | Turkey | Istanbul


We arrived back in Istanbul at about 10 a.m. after our 12-hour bus ride turned into 14. We had one last breakfast together as a group, then everyone went out on their own. Some had planes to catch, others were staying a couple extra days. I went to Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), a former Greek Orthodox church that was later an turned into a mosque, and is now a museum.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 12-14 | Turkey | Cappadocia


Saddle up, folks. This is a LONG post. We did a lot of things in Cappadocia. One of our days started at 4:30 a.m. and ended around midnight. So settle in. Here. We. Go.


In the morning I went to the dervish museum in Konya, then we got on the bus and stopped at the Karavansery, as I mentioned in the last post.

We arrived in the late afternoon in Cappadocia. After we settled in, we walked through town to a cave home where a local family served us dinner. Our hostess was so sweet and her dinner was excellent. It was some eggplant dish, and I typically don’t like eggplant, but hers was very flavorful. After dinner, her teenage daughter sang and played the guitar for us. A great evening of Turkish hospitality.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 11 | Turkey | Konya


Nothing too exciting about Konya. It’s not really a tourist destination. It’s mostly just a place to stop on your way to Cappadocia, which is a MAJOR tourist destination. So this post is pretty short, which is good because the next one is a doozy.

We arrived n the evening after being on buses for 9 hours. We had Turkish pizza. Then went back to the hotel to go to bed. Shooo-eee!

We had a free morning to explore Konya, but there wasn’t much to see. There was a dervish museum, which I visited, but it was just a bunch of creepy wax figures depicting the life inside a dervish lodge. It was VERY crowded, though, so people must be really interested in wax dervishes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 9-10 | Turkey | Kaş


We left Kayaköy in the morning and traveled by bus to Kaş. We dropped off our luggage on the boat where we would be spending the next two days. The captain gave me some green pills for motion sickness, which I hesitated to take because I already had on a prescription motion sickness patch and didn’t want to have too much meds running through my veins. But I stuck the pills in my pocket just in case.

We got off the boat to go grab lunch before departure. The captain escorted our 72-year-old Mexican tour-mate down the wobbly ramp, and she came up to me, giggly and proud, saying she told him, “muchas gracias, Capitán Guapo,” so that he wouldn’t know what she said. He was definitely guapo. All the girls were mesmerized… and literally slack-jawed when he threw off his shirt and did a spin dive off the roof of the boat. Show off. (That’s a request not a label.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 7-8 | Turkey | Kayaköy


The town of Kayaköy was my favorite place on the trip. It’s a sleepy little town next to a “ghost village” which is a former Greek village that was “abandoned” if you’re Turkish, “evacuated” if you’re Greek, during the population swap after the Greco-Turkish war in 1922. The Greek and Turkish government decided to send Ottoman Turks living in Greece back to Turkey and Greeks living in Turkey back to Greece, regardless of how long these people had been living in their neighboring country. 1.5 million Greeks in Turkey and 500,000 Ottoman Turks in Greece were forced to abandon their businesses and friends and were uprooted and moved back to their “homelands.” Greece had a difficult time finding homes for all the refugees, so several slums and shanty towns emerged in the larger cities. Since Turkey sent away more people than it gained, they ended up with empty villages such as this town of Kayaköy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 6 | Turkey | Pamukkale


“Hello, everyone. Good morning. By the way…” This is how our tour guide called us to attention any time he had something to say. I know I’ve fallen behind on these posts. I am here. Alive, safe. I was not thrown into a Turkish prison. It’s just that “wi-fi” in hotels in Turkey is a relative concept, relative to where you are standing at any moment in the hotel. And, to be fair, my Turkey tour group all got along so well that we were hardly ever at the hotel. Even this introvert was out socializing until the wee hours of the morning, which took a toll on me by the end of the trip. I was quite grumpy the last couple days. But, fortunately, I had some alone time for a few days in Athens to recharge before my Greece tour started today. So, anyway, hello, everyone. Good morning. By the way, there are new blog posts coming. And, in my old posts, I added some new photos of myself that my tourmates shot, since I have an aversion to taking selfies or handing my camera to anyone to take a smilely posed snap of me. Feel free to go back through the previous posts’ photos if you’re really bored.


We left Selçuk in late morning and took a train (3ish hours? I forget) to Pamukkale. We ate Ottoman chicken for lunch, which was chicken, vegetables, and rice served in a hot pottery dish set over a sterno. Then we walked up through the travertines and pools. This is a World Heritage Site and is really, really cool. Everyone was ooohing and ahhing throughout the day.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 4-5 | Turkey | Selçuk


Sorry I’ve been MIA the past several days. I am alive and well. We’ve just had limited internet access. We actually spent the last two days on a boat, which I initially dreaded, but more about that later. For now, I’ll start catching up on the last few cities.


We left early in the morning for a seven hour bus ride from Bursa to Selçuk and stopped for lunch at a bus station on the way. After dropping our luggage off at the hotel, we headd to Şirince Market and Village, which was settled by freed Greek slaves in the 19th Century. They named it Çirkince, which means “ugly” in Turkish to discourage people from coming to their town. It was changed in the 1920s to Şirince which means “pleasant.” The town was rumored to be the only place that would be safe from the 2012 Mayan apocalypse, so it was overrun by Turks seeking refuge from doomsday in December 2012.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 3 | Turkey | Bursa


We left the Istanbul hotel at 6:30 a.m. to catch a 1.5-hr ferry to Gemlick, then a 45-minute very crowded bus to Bursa. I propped myself against our pile of luggage and was caged in by other passengers. When we arrived in Bursa, we checked into the hotel and went to another Mosque, Emir told us about the history of Islam, and then we went to lunch. I tried the famous Iskender kebab (named for Alexander the Great). It was similar to a gyro, sliced beef, laid on top of a fluffy pita, drenched in a red tomatoey/bbq sauce, with a side of roasted tomatoes and yogurt. Delicious. If you go to Turkey, you must try the Iskender.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mediterranean | Day 1-2 | Turkey | Istanbul


I arrived at my hotel early afternoon and then walked around looking for a pharmacy and some food. I walked into a pita shop sandwiched between a McDonalds and Burger King. I had no idea what to order, but I’ve learned form NYC and LA, when going into ethnic hole-in-the-wall restaurants, it’s best to order the first couple items on the menu. So I pointed to the first item, a “has tavuk” pita, which was a pita filed with chicken, sauce, french fries, and peppers. It was quite tasty and very filling.

That evening I joined up with my Intrepid tour group. There are four Aussies, three Brits, one South African, and three Texans (including me). Actually one of the Texans has lived in NYC for 15 years, but once a Texan, always a Texan. All in all, a chill and friendly group of travelers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Enter your email to be notified of new posts.

JM3: The Asia Pacific
JM1: Mediterranean
Life in LA