Category Archives: Travel stories

A few photos of Chile and Argentina

Last year I spent two months traveling around parts of Chile and Argentina. It’s hard to describe so many unforgettable experiences using just a few words, so I wrote a book about it. Admittedly, it’s more of an organized collection of thoughts than it is a proper book. Most of the time, the pictures do the talking.

If you’d like to check out a PDF version of the book, follow this link:

ChileArgentinaandUruguayaguamontanasyempanadas

Here are a few photos I took, trying to capture the breathtaking landscapes.

 

Advertisements

50 nuances de bleu: un séjour sur la côte Lycienne en Turquie

Il fait bon explorer la côte Lycienne turque. Située aux abords de la Mer Méditerranée, cette région est dotée de plages magnifiques, de villages côtiers charmants et d’une multitude de paysages d’une beauté apte à couper le souffle.

Lycian coast_Turkey_boat_meditteranean_2014

En bateau sur la Médittérannée

 

Nous avons d’abord posé nos valises à Antalya, une grande ville qui attire souvent les comparaisons avec Nice (France). Nichée entre la mer et une importante chaine de montagnes, Antalya inspire le repos et la vie vécue au ralenti. Au centre, la vielle ville regorge de sympathiques restaurants et de petites boutiques toutes plus mignonnes les unes que les autres. Il s’agît donc d’un bon endroit où s’arrêter pendant quelques jours avant d’entamer une excursion sur la côte Lycienne.

Antalya Marina_Turkey_2014

La marina d’Antalya

Après deux nuits à Antalya, nous avons mis le cap sur Olympos, petit village isolé agréablement situé sur le bord de la mer. Pour s’y rendre, il faut d’abord prendre l’autobus qui nous dépose au bord de l’autoroute, puis on monte dans un taxi partagé pour se rendre au village  Le trajet est d’une durée de 2 heures et offre des paysages montagneux spectaculaires.

Plage Olympos_Turquie_2014

La plage d’Olympos

Avant d’arriver, nous imaginions un petit village typique avec une place centrale et des rues. Olympos ne rentre pas dans ce moule. Il s’agit plutôt d’une longue rue bordée de restaurants, de pansions et de bars. Connue à travers le monde pour ses tree-houses et pour son ambiance festive, elle attire une clientèle jeune qui accourt durant l’été. D’ailleurs, si nous avions effectué notre voyage aux mois de Juin ou Juillet, nous aurions probablement choisi un autre endroit où rester (Cirali, village voisin partageant la même plage qu’Olympos, est beaucoup plus tranquille). Puisqu’on a voyagé hors-saison, nous avions décidé d’y passer quelques jours afin de pouvoir se reposer un peu et d’avoir la chance d’admirer les superbes ruines issues des diverses périodes d’âge d’or de la région.

The ruins of Olympos

Les ruines d’Olympos

 

Ce choix, nous ne l’avons pas regretté! Hébergés à la Saban Pansion, nous avons eu droit au traitement royal de la part des frères et sœurs Meral, Ali et Mustapha qui gèrent ce splendide lieu d’hébergement. Les délicieux repas servis sur la grande terrasse de la pansion à chaque soir valent à eux seuls le détour!

Lots of comfy cushions to lounge on for hours at the Saban Pansion

Saban pansion = confort et bonne bouffe assurés

Beaches, blue skies and boat rides: exploring Turkey’s Lycian Coast

Turkey’s Lycian coast is one of the country’s most beautiful regions. Set along the coast of the Meditteranean sea, it’s a pleasure to explore the beautiful beaches, charming seaside towns and breathtaking valleys.
Antalya Marina_Turkey_2014

Our first stop was in Antalya, a big city often compared to Nice (France). Set in a lovely mountainous environment, it is a great place to put your bags down for a few days before you set out to explore the rest of the region. The old town, known as Kaleiçi is simply beautiful.
Antalya Marina boats_Turkey_

Antalya_Turkey_Umbrellas_2014

Boat_Antalya_Turkey_2014

We spent two nights in Antalya, then set off to Olympos, The ride through the beautiful Taurus mountains was exhilarating, with spectacular views all along the way. After a two hour trip (with a bus and a shared taxi) we arrived at the secluded village.

The ruins of Olympos

The ruins of Olympos

Olympos is a road lined with pansions, restaurants and bars. Known for its treehouse accomodations and impressive ruins (dating back to the 2nd century), it attracts a young crowd, especially during the busy summer months. Had we been traveling in the months of June or July, I would have considered staying elsewhere (there are tons of great options on the coast), but since we were there early in the season, Olympos seemed like a good place to stay for a few days of R&R.

Lots of comfy cushions to lounge on for hours at the Saban Pansion

Lots of comfy cushions to lounge on for hours at the Saban Pansion

I was right. We had a blast and loved staying at Saban Pansion. The sibling hosts Meral, Ali and Mustapha took great care of us, preparing delicious meals every night and going out of their way to help us plan day trips and airport transfers.

Olympos beach_Olympos_Turkey_2014

The beach at Olympos

Lycian coast_Turkey_boat_meditteranean_2014

Relaxing on a boat, not a bad way to spend a day

Lycian tomb_Kalekoy_Lycian coast_Turkey

A Lycian tomb in the water near Kalekoy

Kalekoy_Turkey

The beautiful village of Kalekoy

Lycian coast view_Turkey

A stop along the coast during a long drive to reach our boat

Lycian coast_boat_Turkey

Turkish food_Lycian coast_Turkey

Lunch on the boat

The chimaera are eternal fires that have been burning constantly for thousands of years.

The chimaera are eternal flames that have been burning constantly for thousands of years due to gas emissions that seep out of the mountain.

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

Continue reading

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