Turkey

We’ve lived and traveled all around Turkey for years. We’ve got all the info on travel in Turkey.

A Pasha’s Palace in a Land Far, Far Away

A Pasha's Palace in a Land Far, Far Away

Close to the Iraqi Border, İshak Paşa Sarayı is Truly on the Edge Pashas, sultans, belly dancers, Scheherazade, and visions of 1001 Arabian Nights danced in my head as we headed to this palace in the farthest reaches of Eastern Turkey. The İshak Paşa Sarayı is just not a place many people go. It’s located tucked up in near the borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Really the only way to get there is by car, and you know we love a road trip! This one was dusty and dry, but at the same time new and exciting. It’s trips like these that make us feel like bonafide travelers, so as we drove the winding road to the top of the craggy mountain …

A Pasha’s Palace in a Land Far, Far Away Read More »

Bursa and the Birth of the Ottoman Empire

Bursa World Heritage Site

In 2014, Bursa and Cumalikizik were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Bursa is the fourth largest city in Turkey and has for centuries been a center of trade. It was well-established on ancient trade routes trading, especially known as a center for  Chinese silk; eventually some wily tradesment conspired to acquire some silk worms, creating their own silk industry. Silk scarves are still some of the best buys you can find in Bursa. Cumalikizik is about a half-hour drive from Bursa. It was inscribed as a typical Turkish village which contributed to the wealth of the bigger city.  Today it is mostly popular with Turkish movie producers as it is quaint and colorful with village ladies selling homemade foods, embroidery, …

Bursa and the Birth of the Ottoman Empire Read More »

Bullfighting and Oil Wrestling in the Kaçkar Mountains of Turkey

Bullfighting Oil Wrestling

That’s some serious bull! Along with the melting of the snow, the green pastures of the yayla (high pastures) bring a sense of excitement to the isolated people of the Kaçkar mountains.  It is a time for picnics and festivals.  In Artvin, nestled high over the Çoruh River, the end of June, beginning of July is the Kafkisor or Bullfighting festival.

Turkish Roses and Rose Oil

Turkish Roses

Living in Turkey provided us with so many cultural and once in a lifetime opportunities like swimming to a castle or watching the oil wrestling matches, and we were itching for another. The Turks love roses, anything with roses in it, and we found out that we live, breathe, and as it turns out, eat roses for a weekend. Off we went! We were heading to a tiny village outside of Isparta where we had signed up to be part of a team of rose pickers to follow the famous Turkish roses, the Rosa Damascena, through the entire harvest and rose oil process. Driving along Lake Burdur in Spring, we enjoyed the golden glow of the landscapes and watching the …

Turkish Roses and Rose Oil Read More »

Troy – The World Heritage Site That Almost Wasn’t

Troy World Heritage Site

Troy – A dusty archaeological site with a fantastic story! Located on a strip of land with strategic advantages for controlling the Dardanelles Straits in northeastern Turkey, Troy is one of the most famous archaeological sites of all time.  Why is it famous you might ask? Because of the war between the Greeks and the Spartans to release the beauty Helen from her captives.  One person, Heinrich Schliemann, was obsessed with the story, possessed with finding Troy, and he and the city are forever intertwined with hope, romance, gold, scandal, and triumph. In the mid to late 1800s, Heinrich Schliemann became world famous for sticking to his beliefs, using grit and determination (and maybe some untruths) to uncover and prove …

Troy – The World Heritage Site That Almost Wasn’t Read More »

Göbekli Tepe – The World’s First Cathedral?

Gobekli Tepe

Could the first organized religion be found on a small hill in Southern Turkey? The first time we visited Göbekli Tepe, we drove through the dust from Şanliurfa, a Muslim  pilgrimage site where Abraham was born and killed.  Even though the roads are paved, the barren landscape cannot hold back the wind, which can be very strong and carries with it plenty of dust, heat, and history. It’s only about 15 kilometers, but it’s a long, slow, almost boring 15 kilometers.   It is so deserted that we were thrilled to come upon a small band of boys riding their donkeys and tending their sheep.  We stopped and attempted a chat with them, but as boys usually do, it was more …

Göbekli Tepe – The World’s First Cathedral? Read More »

A Caravanserai Along the Silk Road

caravanserai

The Silk Road…camels, caravans, bandits, and adventure!   Growing up, I devoured stories about the camel caravans and the merchants that traveled the Silk Road. I fell in love with the idea that these caravans were constantly moving, winding their way through unknown territories.  It’s no wonder that I grew up loving to travel, to experience new cultures, and to be on the move…always on the move. Living in and traveling extensively through Turkey, I could easily imagine the caravans making their way across the barren steppes.  Even today, caravanserais are speckled throughout Anatolia and still welcome travelers on the road.  No, they no longer set up camp in the courtyard, but these modern day visitors might still take a meal …

A Caravanserai Along the Silk Road Read More »

What’s for Turkish Breakfast?

Turkish Breakfast

Turkish breakfast or “kahvaltı” is a great way to get your day started and it’s tasty, too! There are so many good things about Turkish breakfast. Many of the foods are staples in the Turkish kitchen: bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, yogurt, eggs, olives, honey, jam, and sometimes meat. Turkish bread is amazing. Years ago, the ekmek (bread) was a flatter loaf, almost like a pita, but not that thin. Every street had a baker very close by, and someone would walk down and buy the warm bread. Today the loaves have changed a little, they are more like a diamond-shaped, fatter loaf. It’s still delicious, but often it is made in huge factories, driven to the local vendor by vans …

What’s for Turkish Breakfast? Read More »

Scroll to Top
Send this to a friend