Posts Tagged ‘turkey’:


Rainy Day Outing to Istanbul Market on the Asian Shore

pre-planned visit with friends to Istanbul’s Sali Pazar or Tuesday Market on the Asian side of the city ensured that I headed out in a torrential morning downpour to wade through puddles and sift through piles of textiles in one of Istanbul’s largest biweekly markets. Although named the Tuesday Market, the market is now held twice a week on both Tuesday and Friday. The market has relocated from a massive parking lot in Kadikoy to another open space in the neighbourhood of Hasan Pasa.  As we jumped in a taxi does seem slightly strange to announce our destination as the Tuesday Market even though it is Friday. Shopping for home goods, ‘seconds’ in clothing lines, produce, cheese, nuts, spices, fabrics and all manner of oddities; the market is both a visual delight and an audio assault as vendors shout prices and encouragement to the shoppers to take a look at their wares.  Today the overriding challenge was to avoid being drenched by unpredictable deluges as the tarps covering the goods were filling with pools of

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NE Turkey – Sites Seen and Unseen

astern Turkey beckons once again and we land in Trabzon ready to start our trek south following the borders.  Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria all share Turkey’s eastern border and stretch out before us for the next fourteen days. The Black Sea laps at the city’s shore along the ribbon of new highway spanning the north coast of Turkey.   Although Trabzon is familiar to me from previous visits sadly on this visit there is one site that we will not be visiting.  The church of Aya Sophia of Trabzon has been recently converted from a museum to a mosque.  This 13th c structure is a wonderful

An Unique Retreat on Turkey’s South Coast – Peter Scholten’s Lycia House

  ho loves Turkey more than me? What feeds my soul more than the beauty of carpets, kilims and textiles? What are some of my most restoring activities? A long swim, a hike through the quiet of archeological ruins, a day at the beach or just relaxing in beautiful, peaceful surroundings with a good book are all ways that I love to unwind from the daily routine of city life. Jack and I have found the perfect place to settle for a week of rest and relaxation. We are guests this week at Peter Scholten’s newly opened Lycia House on Turkey’s south coast. Located high above the Mediterranean in the small village…

Turkey – Getting a Visa has Become a Whole Lot Easier – The Online Solution

ack in the city that feels like my second home. Istanbul welcomed me the night before last and for the first time  coming to buy carpets and textiles I was able to purchase a entry Visa online. Countless times I have stood in a line-up (before the BIG lineup to clear Passport Control) waiting to

Hot Air Balloons – Aloft in Cappadocia, Turkey

hile traveling in Western Turkey this fall with a great group of friends from Vancouver I wrote a couple of posts that I did not put online.  Not posting only reflects how engaged I was with the group and the fun that we had along the way.  Here is an account of hot air ballooning in Cappadocia.  It was definitely a highlight of our travels together.  The morning was extraordinarily clear, a perfect day….. Turkey is a land of  infinitely  varied geography with the region of Cappadocia being among the most unique and with incredible surreal topography.  That being said, what better way to view the fairy chimneys, valleys  and caves but from the air?  A literal bird’s eye view.

Mountaintop Morning at Termessos on Turkey’s South Coast

urkey’s south coast is a great antidote to the busy streets and bazaars of Istanbul. It did not take much to encourage the hikers in the group to abandon their beds in the restored Ottoman houses of our hotel in the Old City in Antalya and to head to the mountains inland to the ancient archeological site of Termessos. One hour outside of the city and we are into Gulluk Dagi National Park. The road winds up the steep mountainside with hairpin turns until we reach a parking lot and the beginning of the hiking trails. Our day is perfection, not a cloud in the sky and the early morning coolness makes the uphill climb a comfort. Here we are at Termessos, the home of the Somian culture of ancient times. The first recorded reference to this city is in the Illiad in the 7th BC. Alexander the Great laid siege to this city in the 3rd c BC but w as unable to conquer these people and moved on with his troops after losing

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Sunday Morning Rambles in Beyoglu, Istanbul

unday evening is our start to our travels together in Western Turkey and guests from Vancouver are arriving en route via France, Switzerland, Italy and America. Of the twelve people who have joined us for this tour in Western Turkey two couples who arrived a day early express their wish to attend a Catholic mass on Sunday morning. We meet an hour early in Taksim Square and walk the side streets off of the main walking street of Istiklal through Beyoglu, the 19th c European quarter of Pera in Istanbul before arriving at the neo Gothic church of St Anthony of Padua. After mass we walk down the hill along a street loaded with musical instrument shops past the Galata tower, a 14th c construct of the Genoese in Constantinople. Along the way we pick up a glass of freshly squeezed…

Day Trip from Mardin to Dara – SE Turkey

he week before it was time to come home from Turkey my daughter Leah and I took a short trip to Mardin in the Southeast of Turkey.  Our time was a combination of putting our feet up and relaxing and also exploring some nearby sites and cities that I had never visited previously. One such morning we set aside some time for a trip to Dara.  Dara is a village built on the site of ruins dating back to the 6th c BC.  The name harkens back to King Darius the Persian king

Tiles in the Harem of the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

y sister came for her first visit to Turkey this spring.  An early morning ferry ride across the Bosphorus, a tram ride up the hill to Sultanahmet and we were near the front of the line for tickets to the Topkapi Palace.  To view the Harem of the palace it requires purchasing a separate ticket within the Palace grounds.   At the main ticket office it indicated that the Palace opened at 9 a.m. and the Harem opened at 9:30 a.m.  On passing into the inner courtyard we went directly to purchase our tickets for the Harem and to our surprise they waved us through into the Harem.  What a unique experience!  I had never been in those rooms without swarms of others and we had the place to ourselves with perhaps half a dozen others who were lucky enough to stumble upon an early entrance. The Topkapi Palace hosts collections that are vast and diverse – textiles, weapons, the treasury,  and religious artifacts plus the kitchen complex with an extensive collection of porcelain, but for

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Fall 2013 – Eastern Turkey: The Land Beyond

ooking ahead to the fall of next year we have travel planned for Eastern Turkey October 4th -18th, 2013.  We will start and end our trip in Istanbul with an internal flight to the city of Trabzon on the Black Sea in the northeast of Turkey close to the Georgian border. Then we will return to Istanbul from Gaziantep in the southeast corner of Turkey.   Travel in eastern Turkey provides glimpses of landscape, culture and traditions that appear to have remained unchanged for centuries.  The same travel includes insight into the monumental changes that are impacting the region.  Highways, massive dams and sophisticated agricultural undertakings exist side by side with the very old. I personally love to tour the ancient sites of Eastern Turkey.  I love the experience of not being with masses of people as we wander through monasteries, palaces, abandoned ruins of bygone cities or hike in the Taurus Mountains above a lakeside village.  My imagination is lured back in time when on the Mesopotamian plain, when in Sanliurfa (birthplace of Abraham)

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