S: Turkey's Magical Hideaways
FC: Turkey | May 2009 | Carol & Steve
1: Ephesus | Cappadocia | Turquoise Coast | Balloon Flight | Our Gulet Yacht | Bosporus Cruise | Istanbul | Lake Cruise
2: Welcome! | Church of Saints Peter & Paul | Antioch
3: Antioch Market
4: Hatay Museum
5: Antioch | Church of St. Peter | Hittite Sculpture Workshop dating from 1000 B.C.
6: Gaziantep | Gaziantep Market | Relaxing after a long day
7: Gaziantep Museum
8: Bald Headed Cranes
9: Lake Cruise to the Roman Fortress of Rumkale | Submerged Mosque
10: Lunch at the lake | Ataturk Dam | Roman Bridge | Apple Tea
11: The road to Mt. Nemrut
12: Mt. Nemrut
13: Mt. Nemrut | There was still snow on the ground in late May. | Mt. Nemrut was so steep that several of our group were not able to finish the climb. Luckily, some enterprising teens were renting out mules.
14: Urfa | Ferry Boat | Our bus driver got lost on the way to the ferry. Luckily, we had plenty of time and arrived at the dock just before the ferry pulled out. | This was an unexpected stop. We had read an article about Gobekli Tepe in Smithsonian Magazine and mentioned it to Ayberk. He used his GPS to find the location and we had a wonderful tour of the site.
16: Pool of Abraham | Urfa Market | Legend has it that if you feed the fish you will go to Paradise. So of course we fed the fish. | These stools were surprisingly comfortable.
17: Urfa Castle | Urfa | This young man sang folk songs for us in order to earn a few lira.
18: Harran | Roman Fortress
19: Grand Mosque | Children followed us all over town.
20: Istanbul | Our hotel
21: The Hippodrome | Basilica Cistern | Medusa's head was carved in the top of the column. The column fell and now she is upside down.
22: Blue Mosque | We had to remove our shoes almost everywhere.
23: Aya Sofia
24: Istiklal Street | Subway station | Istanbul | Galata Tower | This street is filled with shops and restaurants. There is a tram going from one end to the other but we walked. Very tiring. | Good food
25: Topkapi Palace
26: There are over 5000 shops in the Grand Bazaar. Our trip leader told us to wander around, take in the sights and get lost. We did just that and had a great time! | Grand Bazaar
27: Bosporus Cruise
28: Spice Market 1597 - 1664
29: People and sights we saw while walking around Istanbul | We tried stuffed mussels at this restaurant | Old cemetery | Wedding couple | Shoe shine station
30: Cappadocia | Our hostesses | Home Hosted Lunch
31: Mt. Erciyes | Outdoor Market
32: Cappadocia Walk
34: Our pilot
38: Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia
40: We visited a pottery workshop and showroom set in a cave. Pottery making is a 9000-year tradition in this part of Turkey. The potter made a Turkish wine carafe. We then saw how the carafes are hand painted in traditional Turkish colors. | Pottery Workshop
41: Pottery Showroom | The showroom was full of beautiful pieces - very elaborate designs. I bought a small wall hanging of a bird - should have bought more, it was such a bargain.
42: Goreme Open Air Museum
43: Goreme | The Goreme Open Air Museum has the finest collection of rock-cut churches in Turkey. The churches date from the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. The frescoes are in remarkably good condition.
44: At the end of the day, Ayberk took us for a tour of the Castle. We had to climb many, many steps but the views at the top were great! I stayed there for only a short time and then headed back to the hotel for a short nap before dinner. | Our hotel | Uchisar Castle
45: Rug-weaving Co-op | This is the pattern that the weaver follows. | Silk cocoons | After the weaving demonstration and talk about the silk worms, we were brought into the showroom, given a drink and then each couple had a salesman all to themselves. The salespeople were very persistent. We had two people follow us through the building and out into the parking lot! They offered us a bargain rate - $1350 down to 'only' $900. We finally went back to the bus just to get away from them. Needless to say, we did not buy a rug. | Beautiful rugs
46: This was the first school visit where the children actually seemed happy to see us. We met a first grade class that performed a folk dance. We later talked to the principal and several teachers about the education system in Turkey. The principal then took us to the village bakery where several women were baking bread for the entire village. We had a taste and it was delicious. | Try some | Village Bakery
47: Kaymakli Underground City | Underground cities were built as protection from enemies. There were usually eight levels; we explored four. There were many narrow, sloping passageways with low ceilings and rooms went in every direction. It was a maze. At one time, several thousand people lived here. | Stone door used to seal the corridor.
48: On our long drive to Konya, we stopped at this scenic overlook. After walking up the hill we were rewarded with our last view of the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. There were wild flowers growing everywhere.
50: Caravansary | Konya
51: Melvana Museum | The interior of the mosque is made entirely of wood. Beautiful carvings. The Imam performed the Call to Prayer for us. It was very moving. | Esrefoglu Mosque 1296
52: Hittite Monument | Within five minutes of arriving at the monument, the villagers arrived with their wares in hopes of a sale. The cows even came to see the tourists!
53: As we headed toward our village home stay, we saw these farmers irrigating their fields. Naturally, we had to try our hand at it. It was harder then it looked. | Lake Beysehir | Our host family | We arrived at Budak Village about 7:00 where we were spending the night with a local family. The compound included three houses and four generations living together. We didn't see much of the great grandparents but the rest of the family was very friendly. | Our room was in the newest house which was almost a high-rise - four stories. It wasn't quite finished but our room was very nicely furnished. One of the families lived there when they didn't have guests.
54: Home Stay | Our host family | Great grandma working in the garden
55: Budak Village | After saying good bye to the family, we walked through Budak Village and down to Lake Beysehir. | Poppy fields
56: We drove south toward the Mediterranean and Antalya. We stopped at a lake for lunch and had time to walk along the shore. Nice break from the long ride.
57: Antalya | Our hotel was in the old part of Antalya. We had to walk through narrow lanes and up and down hills for about half a mile. Delightful hotel. We walked around town and then went down to the harbor. The steps were old, steep and uneven. The harbor was bustling with tourist boats, gulets and fishing boats.
58: Antalya Museum
59: Aspendos | Roman Baths | The theater seats 15,000 people. Concerts and events are still held here.
60: Perge | Hippodrome
61: Roman Ruins at Myra
62: Demre | Church of Saint Nicholas | Noel Baba Restaurant | St. Nicholas
65: Our Crew | Wheelhouse | Galley | Dining Room | Fethiye Harbor
66: Kayakoy | Kayakoy is a Greek 'ghost town'. The entire population of over 1000 people was relocated to Greece after the Turkish War of Independence in the 1920s. | We hiked uphill to reach the town, rested a bit and then continued down the other side to the Soguk Su Cove where we would meet our boat.
67: Soguk Su Cove
68: Cleopatra's Bath | Hike to Lydea | Today's hike is the most challenging of the entire trip. It is over three hours long with more then half of it a steep uphill.
69: We finally reached the top of the mountain where Ayberk had a surprise for us. We stopped to visit with a shepherd's family for some refreshments. We were served sage tea with bread, honey and cheese.
70: Greco-Roman Site of Lydea | The ruins were about half a mile beyond the shepherd's home. There wasn't much left of them but it was a nice peaceful spot. | Old cistern
71: It's all downhill from here.
72: We were ferried to our boat and had lunch. We all relaxed for a while - most of us went swimming and tried water ballet. Some went kayaking and a few just read a book. The cove was beautiful and the water clear and warm.
73: Ayberk's 40th Birthday | Our chef
74: Cruise on the Dalyan River | Our captain
75: Dalyan Riverboats
76: Caunus Ruins and Temple Tombs
77: We awoke on our last morning to find our 'private' cove was filled with boats. | We had a short sail to Marmaris Harbor where we disembarked.
78: Temple of Apollo
79: After seeing the temples, we drove to Kusadasi. We settled into our hotel and then Steve went to the harbor to sail on Ayberk's boat. I stayed back at the hotel and relaxed at the pool. | Kusadasi
81: Ephesus | Ancient pipes
83: Library of Celsus
84: Ocakbasi Village | After exploring Ephesus, we drove up in the mountains to this small village. We walked up cobblestoned paths to this restaurant overlooking the valley. We had some delicious Turkish food and then wandered around the village. Charlie bought flower head pieces for all the ladies. | Tacky souvenir shop
85: Temple of Artemis | Basilica of St. John
86: Ephesus Museum
87: Farewell Dinner | Everyone got a nice dinner but Steve got this!
88: Some of the wonderful food we had in Turkey | Turkish Food