Tuesday, November 20, 2012


On return to this city full of history, we took the opportunity to explore a few more places we had yet to see. One being the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or more commonly known as the Blue Mosque due to all of the blue handmade ceramic tiles that line the interior. The grandeur cannot be captured here,
a truly amazing piece of art.

The Basilica Cistern was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-565) and can hold 100,000 tons of water storage. It is right across the street from the Aya Sofia, and of course underground. The two Medusa heads used as column bases are a bit of a mystery, as to where they came from and why they were used, but are excellent examples from the Roman Period.

We have a new found respect for how carpets are made. Wow.

Our last night in town, views over the Golden Horn and of the Galata Tower.
A great last night in Istanbul...for now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Our time here was mostly spent hiking around and appreciating all the natural wonders as well as learning more about the history of the area. On first glance, it reminded us immediately of a combination of Bryce Canyon and Mesa Verde, with the fairy chimeys and rock dwellings. Most of our time spent in Cappadocia was a bit overcast, blustery and cold due to the time of year, but it was still a spectacular setting to explore. As it is usually a busy tourist destination, we found ourselves alone on most of our hiking endeavors. The landscape is mesmerizing, and our friends were right that the area definitely has 'soul'. Glad we made the visit on our way back to Istanbul.

Among the dwellings are many churches built by early Christians.

signs of fall and winter

Ended up hiking into some narrows which eventually took us into an underground tunnel system. When we finally came out, we had overshot our destination by a mile or so.

We had a couple friends join us to watch the hot air balloons. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


This area has been our home for most of our time here in Türkiye. Now as we leave the familiar behind for new unknown places, we remember all the beautiful landscapes, which can be equally matched by the people we've met. Thanks to everyone who opened their homes, businesses and hearts to help us along this journey of ours. We will not soon forget your many acts of kindness.

Turkish Oak


This ancient city is now covered by sand dunes, but more of it is being excavated and restored each year. The parlimentary building, theatre, and most recently the lighthouse is now in the excavation stage. Patara is known for being the home of the first democratic union which lasted until the 4th century. It's also the birthplace of St. Nicholas and has become Turkey's longest beach (11 miles). The beach is under protection due to it being a primary breeding ground for Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Turtles), thus is only available to the public during the day. So glad we got the chance for a visit.

Turkish Angora cat

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Around Bodrum

A beautiful area to revisit and explore with friends. Things have calmed down, as the summer season comes to an end. The weather however remained absolutely stunning. We spent a lot of time walking, visiting and discovering. Always a good way to spend time.

Uyku Vadisi (Valley of Sleep)

Madronas in Türkiye?

Nothing seals a meal or visit like a good cup of Turkish coffee, especially when made by a good friend. Thanks again for everything, see you both again soon!