For Dilshad’s birthday, we planned a trip to Turkey. Arrived and landed in Istanbul, and spent a few days visiting this old city that straddles Europe and Asia. It is a very cosmopolitan and tolerant place, where Islam is the major religion.
In Istanbul, we visited the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofia, the Topkapi palace, the Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, etc etc. Did a lot of walking in the streets to get an idea of daily life in Istanbul. Fell in love with this place, the delicious food, the people, etc etc. This is indeed one of those few places that I would like to visit again and again.

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque courtyard

Inside the Blue Mosque
Mihrab of the Blue mosque

Blue mosque dome

Cute lovebirds outside the Blue mosque

Galata Tower

Bosphorous. TopKapi Palace on left background, and Aya Sofia on right background

Skyline Istanbul, Galata Tower

Mosque along the Bosphorous

Bosphorous cruise/ferry

Aya Sofia

Yami “New” Mosque

Beyouglu at Night

Bazaar

Bazaar

Dried fruit and nuts

Spice Bazaar

Busy & huge Grand Bazaar

Aya Sofia and gardens

After checking out Istanbul, we flew to Izmir on the Mediterranean sea; rented a car, and drove a short distance over to Ephesus, which is a well preserved Roman city ruin that is quite fascinating and large in size. Definitely worth visiting. This has to be oneof the best Roman ruins I have seen,

Roman Amphitheatre at Ephesus

Roman ruins at Ephesus

Roman ruins at Ephesus

Roman Amphitheatre

After Ephesus, we drove over to Kusadasi, where we had planned to stay. Kusadasi is a port city on the Mediterranean, and is and old city that is quite hilly, with great views from all over the city.

Beauty

Chilling in Kusasdasi at our B&B

Chilling

After exploring, we drove several hours to Pamukkale; which is inland and had a spectacular natural feature; see below. Natural hot springs from underground loaded with dissolved limestone have created beautiful white terraces of pools and ponds as the water evaporates and deposits the limestone. Absolutely stunning.

Pamukkale

View of the town of Pamukkale

Stunning ponds

Pammakali

Pammakali

This entry was posted in Middle East, Turkey, Turkey May 2009

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