Turkey II

After Cappadocia we went to Ankara. It wasn’t our favorite spot but did have some kid friendly sites like a park within walking distance from our hotel. 

Caesar Augustius’ coins below. The museums in the city were pretty educational as well.

  

This is a local tea spot. Most Men just sip and chat all day long. Sometimes he sidewalks were so covered with them that we had to walk on the streets just to bypass them and their smoke.

 

 

Castle on a hill.    

At the big park there were restaurants along the side with playgrounds for the kids. It was actually quite lovely and serene. 

  

Last stop Istanbul.

   

The emperor’s doorway into Hagia Sophia.

The former mosque and church have intricate designs even though it’s clearly rundown.

  

The underground cistern was quite fun for the kids and heart skipping for me. There were fish swimming in shallow waters with nary a strong or well spaced railing for the kids. 

  

The spice market was fun to be able to walk through but…    

The walk out was claustrophobia inducing. Seriousl, like grab your kids and ensure they are breathing and hightail it out.

  

The Blue mosque was pretty as well.

    

It was my first time to enter a mosque and yes I had to have my head covered.

  

Next was the palace. Lest you feel like our mason jars are too adorned, see above for the more glammed kind.

 

Granted we were hitting a low, the palace wasn’t that great. We saw jewels and some of the kitchen and random little rooms but nothing like I was hoping for. Standing for hours to see a tiny room was just hard to handle and not sure it was worth corralling the kids. 

Turkey I

We’ve taken 2 weeks to travel Turkey and while we haven’t seen half as much country as there is, we have covered a good bit.

   

       

We started out in Gallipoli and learned more about the WWI conflict and how the Turks/Ottomans protected their lands against the allies. I also learned how small the hostel rooms are here & the size of the ash tray is massive.  

  

No fire hazards here I guess.  Staying within view of the Mediterranean made it worth it! Super windy but a quiet quaint loveliness.

  

Next stop Cannekale. Enter Paparrazi. Pinching cheeks, picking up, throwing kids in air, lipstick stains on cheeks, kids smelling of perfume, you name it, the kids got it.

  

Thankfully our hotel stays got better and better. In the previous hostel, part of the bathroom wall fell on me. This hotel part of the shower wall was missing. 

The clock tower of Cannekale. We took a day trip to Troy but I don’t have any of the pictures from that on my phone.

 

  Ephesus was our next stop. 

  Amazing.

  

So cool to read the Bible and walk on streets that some of the Apostles walked on. It’s a beautiful small world. 

  

 Edit And then of course there’s the public toilets…where you could pay a fee and reserve a seat for a particular time. Perhaps this was the first club membership???

We stayed at a neighboring city and ate at a great local shack of a stand/restaurant. It all went great until a cat sat inches away from D and nearly pounced our table for our food. Talk about feeling disconcerted. With all the rabies talk I did NOT want our kids near any of the wild cats.  

  

Next up Cappadocia! When you see a picture of hot air balloons in Turkey, it’s likely shot from Cappodocia.

 

 This area looks similar to the Badlands of S. Dakota so my hubs says.

  

I was blessed to be given the privilege of waking up at 4:30am to fly in a hot air balloon. And in case the pictures don’t prove I was there, I have a paper certificate with a misspelling of my name.

  

I knew my boys would appreciate the fire aspect to this voyage.

  

Sometimes these steeple looking columns are called fairy chimneys. I believe some of them are made from lava from a neighboring lava mountain (is that even possible?)…the second largest mountain in Turkey.

  

We walked through some of the first churches carved out of these rocks.

  

And explored an empty former underground city. Very cool!

 

Did i mention we stayed in a cave hotel?  

We kept wondering if the Gruffalo would be visiting.  

We also had our first taste of apple tea and have since always said yes when offered!

  

Breakfasts were good with raw honey, yogurt, cucumber & tomato slices,  Hardboil eggs, fresh bread and olives.

Part I of Turkey complete.