Thursday, December 4, 2014

Turk Down for What

Destinations for our family vacations have typically been within the US or to India. So, going to Turkey this past summer was a welcome and exciting change. We planned on traveling with my dad's business partner and his family, who are some of our oldest and closest family friends. We had only traveled together once before, to Yellowstone the previous summer, and since then our trips had become an annual tradition.

To make the sight-seeing process easier in a country that is large enough to keep us busier for much longer than just one week, we traveled with a guided company in order to make the most out of our time. Our week was mostly spent in Instanbul and cities along the western coast, including Cumalikizik, Bursa, Sardis, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Selcuk, Izmir, Pergamon, Troy, Canakkale, and Gallipoli.

 A view of the Bosphorous River from outside the Beylerbeyi Palace

To say our week was filled with seeing palaces, mosques, and Roman ruins would be a huge understatement. After a while, the mosques looked a little similar and the rocks of the ruins blended together, but everywhere we went was beautiful, albeit very hot.

 A myriad of evil eye souvenirs in the Grand Bazaar

Our schedule was broken up with stops to the spice market, silk market, the Grand Bazaar, a carpet co-op, and a leather outlet. Our meals were filled with traditional Turkish fare ranging from meats like iskender kabob, adena kabob, gozleme, and borek, desserts such as dondurma ice cream, halwa, baklava, and drinks including apple tea and turkish coffee. The trip lived up to the hype: turk down for what.

Trying a cup of aromatic hot apple tea

An authentic Turkish meal prepared by the workers of a carpet co-op

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