Uncovering the Treasures of Turkey

April 9th, 2017 by | Tags: , | No Comments »

Alex and I flew to Turkey early this year after spending a month travel throughout Israel. We spent three wonderful weeks traveling around Turkey. During our three weeks in Turkey, we refrained from sharing our trip to Turkey on social media and with many family and friends because we did not want our loved ones to be worried. In spite of media’s negative portrayal of Turkey, we still researched carefully and monitored the US State Department’s website concerning the safety of the country. As we expected, we found Turkey to still be a very safe place to travel. The country has beautiful landscapes, very warm and friendly people, delicious food, and incredible historical sites. Everywhere we went, I was amazed by how clean the cities and town are and how punctual and courteous the Turks are. We did not allow terrorism that has unfortunately occurred in the country to stop us from traveling there because terrorism happens everywhere in the world including in our own home country. Traveling is the best way to promote peace because tourists are ambassadors of their own countries as they can teach other countries about their own country while teaching their home country about the countries they visit.

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We spent the first five days of our Turkey trip in Istanbul exploring beautiful ancient buildings and museums. Istanbul is truly a magical city filled with so many jewels and gems. This picture is Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, both which are truly stunning work of architecture.

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Tea is a big part of Turkish cuisine. Everywhere we went, there were always Turkish Tea or Apple Tea. Alex and I enjoyed them in some restaurants and cafes. When we visited many shops, some offered tea to us.

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Baklavas are the best.

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Seeing the Blue Mosque was an unbelievably breathtaking experience. The interior design is truly a work of art. My jaws were hanging down as I stared at the beautiful walls.

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Alex and I took a ferry across the Bosporus Strait to see the Asian side of Istanbul.

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Alex and I took a cooking class in Istanbul where we learned how to make Turkish cuisine.

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When Alex and I took a ferry across the Bosporus Strait to the Asian side of Istanbul, we had the opportunity to taste Kurdish cuisine at Çiya Sofras? located on the Asian side of Istanbul.

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Seeing Hagia Sophia was a dream come true moment because I can still remember like as if was just yesterday when my art history professor at SCAD presented an image of this magnificent building and spent some time explaining the significance of the architecture of the church that was then turned into a mosque and then into a museum.

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After Istanbul, we traveled to Cappadocia, an area of Turkey often known as the land of magic and a place you must see before you die. It is known for its unique landscapes, cave homes and churches and early morning sunrise hot air balloon rides.

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A dream come true. Riding a hot air balloon was on my bucket list for many years. So happy that I got to check it off.

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Alex and I visited the Open Air Museum in Cappadocia where we saw stunning cave churches.

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Alex and I visited an ancient underground city, Derinkuru Underground City, in Cappadocia. There were not only homes but also churches and livestocks underground. The city went as far as 60 meters underground.

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When Alex and I went ATVing, we explored a few different valleys in Cappadocia.

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Shopping is a must-to-do activity in Turkey. Turkey is a treasure trove filled with beautiful gems and jewels. One can find hand painted ceramics, jewelry, rugs, paintings and scarves. Alex and I went rug shopping in Turkey to find a nice rug for ourselves and also Alex’s mom. Alex and I are loving our new rug, which we bought in Istanbul and is now in our apartment in the States.

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This a lamb dish baked in a clay pottery, a speciality of Anatolia. Alex and I ate a few clay pottery dishes in Cappadocia.

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Alex and I spent five lovely nights in a very cozy cave at Cappadocia Cave Suites. Sleeping in a cave at Cappadocia is an essential experience.

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After spending five days in Cappadocia, Alex and I spent three days in Antalya where we enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the coast. Antalya is a beautiful town located on the Turquoise Coast. We spent our time enjoying the beautiful turquoise sea and seeing more historical sites.

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Alex and I went a boat ride to see some beautiful sites located along the coast of Antalya and to enjoy the sunshine.

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Alex and I hired a taxi driver one day to take us to a nearby park, Kur?unlu Waterfall Nature Park, to take a short hike to see a beautiful waterfall.

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After visiting Kursunlu Waterfalls, located near Antalya, we visited Aspendos, one of the best preserved ancient amphitheater.

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After Antalya, we spent two nights in Pamukkale to explore an incredible and unique natural hot spring.

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Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish. The terraces are made of travertine, a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs.

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Pamukkale does not only have a hot spring, it also has a massive ancient ruin site. There are streets, temples, bath houses and tombs.

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Seeing the library at Ephesus was a breathtaking moment. It was a two story building built around 114 to 117 CE.

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