Archives for category: Turkey 2014
Alanya, Turkey // Do All Things With Love

Alanya, Turkey

I rarely do ‘year in review’ type posts – but I have some thoughts on 2014 and have guesses about what 2015 might bring. Bear with me, dear readers, this will be brief.

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Mosque // Do All Things With Love

Rüstem Paşa Camii, Istanbul

Date: 14 September 14
Local Time: 10:00pm
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Hours of sleep in last 24: 8

We woke up at 3am to drive from Çıralı to the Antalya airport to fly up to Istanbul. The plan for our 48 hours in Istanbul was to a) see all the ‘must see’ sights and b) catch up with some old friends. Both were well accomplished.

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Istanbul // Do All Things With Love

Let’s be real here – Turks are the best at food. Istanbul was bursting with restaurants and confection shops of all kinds. Most of it was really good, some of it was mediocre. I think I got spoiled though because I started my trip in Gaziantep, which is like the culinary hot spot and is known across Turkey as having the very best food. Anyways, I am starting this post stating that I am completely biased toward liking Gaziantep food more.

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Çıralı // Do All Things With Love

Date: 12 September 14 Local
Time: 10:00pm
Location: Çıralı, Turkey
Hours of sleep in last 24: 9

Forget everything you know about Turkey – and just know that if you ever want to vacation somewhere tropical and amazing, forget Hawaii, and Costa Rica and book yourself a trip to Çıralı, Turkey right now. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

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Aspendos // Do All Things With Love

Date: 10 September 14
Local Time: 8:00pm
Location: Kemer, Turkey
Hours of sleep in last 24: 7

We departed Side after our homemade breakfast at the hotel, and headed to the nearby ruins of Aspendos. It was an ancient city founded by the Greeks in 1000 BC and changed hands many times. The theater in Aspendos is one of the best-preserved ancient theaters, which seated about 7,000 people.

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Alanya from above // Do All Things With Love

Date: 9 September 14
Local Time: 9:00pm
Location: Side, Turkey
Hours of sleep in last 24: 8

I woke up early in Anamur when some garbage trucks were emptying bins loudly, it was probably 6am and the sun was just about to rise so instead of going back to bed I grabbed my camera and left the hotel (past the snoring inn-keeper by the front door) and walked to the beach to watch the sunrise.

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yaprakli koy // Do All Things With Love

Date: 8 September 14
Local Time: 6:30pm
Location: Anamur, Turkey
Hours of sleep in last 24: 3.5

After the fun day in Gaziantep we all packed up together and hit the road at about 4am local time to head to the Mediterranean. No time to waste on sleep. The drive took about four hours and we arrived in Mersin at about 8:00am to eat breakfast and swim in the ocean. It was the most magical thing in the world – swimming in the mild crystal clear ocean first thing in the morning, then eating our breakfast of gözleme and drinking çay at the beach.

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Gaziantep, Turkey

Gaziantep, Turkey

So I made it! The trip was smooth, although once I traveled through the Istanbul airport I knew immediately that the language barrier would be a challenge. I made it, thankfully most directional signs are printed in both Turkish and English. But any announcements that were in English was completely incomprehensible.

  • The first destination was Gaziantep, for a day and a half. In the 30 hours I accomplished the following:
  • Discovered that my understanding of Turkish is enough to guess what is being talked about
  • Discovered that try as I might, my accent will always be hilarious to my dining companions (“go on, say ‘hello’ again!”)
  • Turkish food is the most delicious thing ever, anywhere. I knew this already, but really it is off the charts.
  • Tried a dish that is essentially raw lamb, mixed with bulgar. They jokingly called it ‘Turkish sushi’ and it actually wasn’t bad.
  • Drank turkish kahve (coffee), and oh so much çay (tea).
  • Smoked a nargile (hookah).
  • Explored a bazaar.
  • Visited a museum of famous mosaics that were discovered close to this city.
  • Visited the town’s zoo, which is apparently the second-largest zoo in all of Europe!
  • So far have avoided jet lag. I know it’s coming, but so far the kahve and çay are keeping it at bay.
Türkçe balkon / Turkish balcony

Türkçe balkon / Turkish balcony

More photos below…

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