This is not a travel blog.
And yet, I would be remiss not to share some photographs of my recent travels throughout Turkey, an incredibly beautiful country.
We explored the country from distant Cappadocia – with its fairytale mountains and chimneys and ancient monasteries looking straight out of another planet – to Izmir, where we walked beside the coast and touched the Aegean Sea. Izmir captured my heart and reminded me of California. The weather was warm, the food was delicious, and the views were incredible. Izmir is wine country, and filled with rolling hills, greenery and truly spectacular sunsets. We went to Selcuk, the small town of Sirince (known for its delicious fruit wines), and most incredibly the ancient ruins in Ephesus and Hierapolis. We also soaked in the mud baths of Pammukale and enjoyed the breathtaking views after climbing up the cold cold travertines. It was a challenge, no doubt, but absolutely worth it to feel truly on top of the world.
And finally – Istanbul. Filled with cats and delicious tea and nargile, this city by the water is incredibly beautiful, dotted with mosques especially in the sunset. The city (and country) has amazing mosques filled with intricate detail, and layers upon layers of history – from the Romans to the Greeks to the Ottoman empire. It is truly a magical meeting place where East collides with West. The sunset on the Istanbul skyline is truly incredible, the people are so hospitable and kind, the food and drinks are so tasty.
What an incredible place.
Lots of delicious food and drink in Turkey. Some of my favorites: mezes (various appetizers), sahlep (a warm, creamy winter drink), moussaka, and of course – lots of Turkish apple tea (çay) and baklava.
There are so many cats everywhere around Turkey. Truly adorable and a joy for all cat lovers!
The ancient ruins of Ephesus. Simply amazing.
Views of Pammukale, hot springs and cold travertines. An amazing natural formation.
A breathtaking view of the ancient city of Hierapolis – after you climb up high in Pammukale.
The very picturesque small town of Sirince – known for its excellent fruit wines. Blueberry, Blackberry, Strawberry – you name it. Quite refreshing and delicious.
View of city of Selcuk from atop Ayasuluk Castle.
St. John’s Basilica in Selcuk.
Ayasuluk Castle, Selcuk
And of course – the bustling, beautiful city of Istanbul, dotted with its mosques.
The fisherman on Galata bridge, at night.
Happy 2015 everyone!