Monthly Archives: June 2014

Photos of beautiful Cappadocia: discovering the landscapes that belong on another planet

Rose Valley

Rose Valley

Cappadocia is one of Turkey’s most visited regions and with good reason: the whole region’s topography was  formed through thousands of years of erosion on the soft stone hills, thus creating unique landscapes that seem like they belong on the moon rather than on this planet.

We spent  three full days over there and could easily have filled many more with loads of outdoor activities. Most people that visit Cappadocia take a hot air balloon ride that lifts off at 6AM and takes tourists through the area. We decided to opt out as we prefered to visit the area with our feet firmly planted to the ground. No regrets (though everyone we spoke to that took the balloon ride loved it).

There are so many interesting things to discover while walking through the valleys!  We hired an experimented guide who goes by the name of Walking Mehmet. He took us to secluded areas and shared lots of interesting information about the region. The next day we decided to take another guided tour, this time by bus so we could cover longer distances. As things turned out, our good fortune stood by us and we ended up having another private  tour with yet another excellent guide named Mehmet (from what we gather, in Turkey Mehmet is as common a name as John is in North America). He took us to many amazing places during that day: among which an underground city, a caldera lake, the breathtaking Ilhara valley and the rock monastery of Selime.

Here are a few photos:

Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley

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Culinary backstreets: Eating our way around the markets of Istanbul

Midye dolmaThere are many great things about Turkey but one of the biggest highlights is the food. Turkish cuisine is fresh and full of vegetables, spices, perfectly cooked meat and excellent fish. It can be tasty and quite healthy (though people with a sweet tooth and/or an appetite for all things greasy will find many things to their liking).

Every street of Istanbul is lined with dozens of eateries of all kinds,. Knowing this, we worried that we wouldn’t go to the right places during our short time in the city. Not wanting to miss out on any of the good stuff, we decided to book a food tour with Istanbul Eats/ Culinary Backstreets. Best idea ever!

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Turkey 2014: getting lost in the lively Istanbul

The waterfront in Bostanci on the asian side

The waterfront in Bostanci on the asian side

It’s already been 3 weeks since our plane landed at Dorval airport, after a long journey leaving from Istanbul (with a 6h layover in Amsterdam). We spent 3 weeks discovering the beautiful and fascinating country of Turkey.

Our first and last stop in Turkey was Istanbul, a city that I had already fallen in love with nearly 5 years ago and was excited to see again. My brother and mother had never been but it didn’t take long for the beautiful chaos of the city to win them over. Here are a few photos of our favorite places

A church in Beyoglu

A church in Beyoglu

Street sights on Istiklal Caddesi

Street sights on Istiklal Caddesi

Street musicians on Istiklal caddesi

Street musicians on Istiklal caddesi

Galata tower

Galata tower

A view of the Golden horn

A view of the Golden horn

The port in Kadikoy

The port in Kadikoy

Inside the mevlana museum where the whirling dervish ceremony was held.

Inside the mevlana museum where the whirling dervish ceremony was held.

A whirling dervish ceremony

A whirling dervish ceremony

The view from our bedroom.

The view from our bedroom.

Aya Sofya architectural detail

Aya Sofya architectural detail

Architectural detail, Sultanahmet area

Architectural detail, Sultanahmet area

Aya Sofya

Aya Sofya

Inside the Blue mosque

Inside the Blue mosque

Blue mosque

Blue mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Political posters in Moda

Political posters in Moda

Waiting for (and missing) the boat in Karakoy

Waiting for (and missing) the boat in Karakoy

Street art in Moda

Street art in Moda