Sunday, November 14, 2010


As in any travel, there is a lot more, but you sort have "had to be there" to understand the daily ins and outs of tromping through foreign territory.  It was a safe, comfortable trip, and we saw much more than we ever imagined.  There was the "shoe sole" guy who had configured a shopping cart of some kind and would put brand new soles on your shoes while you waited.  I watched a few people do just that. I loved all the fresh veggies and fruits at every meal, and the Turkish coffee, and the many "tea breaks" during the day  with little tea glasses.
Soles while you wait!

The captivating "Kismet" Hotel
I loved the 50's Art Deco Hotel, Kismet, and all the pictures of the famous people who had stayed there. I loved all the "Turkish patterns" one sees everywhere, and their vibrant red  flag with a crescent moon and a star.  This flag had it's origins in Gallipoli, where legend has it one could see the moon and stars reflected in the blood on the ground around the Turkish positions.  I even loved all the stories of the wars, as those wars are what shaped this country to what it is now.
Turkish Flag

 Turkish Tile Pattern Everywhere

I loved the day we spent in a Greek Ghost town that used to hold 5,000 people, 2,000cottages, and a basilica.  Everything is still there but the people, which were "repositioned" back to Greece after the War.  It was eerie, and fascinating, and we hiked all over it.

....and I really loved swimming in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, in clear, cool, water.  I loved the mornings when the sun turned everything red out the port hole of our cabin.  And even the 8 hrs of torrential rains and lightening we had our last night on the gulet.  What a show!
I am probably the only person who REALLY likes those stinky camels, too.  Camels are not used too much in  Turkey any longer, but I came across one who I swear was smiling at me!

Morning out the Porthole

The last night we spent in Ankara, which is the Capital.  I opened the shades in our room, and saw this depressing looking building with the Iranian Flag on the top. (well, I thought it was the Iranian Flag).  Sure enough, it was the Iranian Embassy right next to our room, and our guide cautioned us standing about taking pictures, and such......OOPS!

Finally, a word about one of the nicest, most patient and funny guy...Kaan Gulcur.   One of these pictures is what I call the "Gulcer Camera shuffle".  He would graciously take pictures for everyone with their cameras, anywhere, anytime.  I finally had to take one of him doing the deed.  At the end of the day he always had a big smile and a couple glasses of Raki with his dinner!  He told us hilarious stories, and not so hilarious stories.  He made history come alive, and no question was ever out of line or off limits with Kaan.  He knew world affairs better than anyone I have talked to in  a long time, and we enjoyed many dinners discussing how the world could be a better place.  We miss him and he is one of the reasons we liked Turkey so much.  I hope he retires to his olive farm by the sea, as he wants to some day! 

GOODBYE TURKEY.........for now


  1. What a wonderful blog you created here, Connie! I've had such fun reading your postings and seeing the photos. And I must say, these last photos are spectacular! LOVE "morning out the porthole"! Wishing you and Steve many more adventures! It is a selfish wish however, because I'm hoping you will be doing more travel blogging!

  2. Thanks Linda, there is always room for more, and you can come with us!