Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

A Day in Kadikoy: Scenes from Istanbul’s Asian Side

“Go to the Asian side — it’s one of the best things to do in Istanbul.” Nearly everyone told me this on my first trip to Turkey nearly two years ago. Yet for some reason, I spent my first trip firmly ensconced on the European side of the Bosphorus (journeys to Sabiha Gocken Airport notwithstanding). [...]

SOTM Tour: Month Two of Twelve

Mario and I have been on the road for two months now! From Malta to Dubai, here is the best and worst of Month Two of the SOTM Tour. Countries Visited Malta, Turkey, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, United Arab Emirates Favorite Destinations Ohrid, Macedonia — What a nice, beautiful, fun, and dirt-cheap summer resort town! [...]

Stray Cats in Istanbul

As I walked through the streets of Sultanahmet, Istanbul’s historic center, I noticed that there were quite a few cats milling about.  That’s nothing special — you see that in most cities.  Probably Rome more than anywhere else. But upon further inspection, I realized that unlike the frail, weak stray cats that fill most cities, [...]

Fethiye in Winter: Pure, Chilled Bliss

As I prepared to leave the sub-zero temperatures of Cappadocia in November, I had one thing on my mind: I need to get warm. And with that, I headed to Turkey’s southwest corner on the Mediterranean — to Fethiye. Oh God, this was such a wonderful place. I first heard about Fethiye from Julia and [...]

Freezing in a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia

If you ever plan on getting into a hot air balloon someday, here’s a suggestion for you: do it in Cappadocia, Turkey.  Hot air balloon flights are incredibly popular in Cappadocia — several dozen balloons go up each day, even in the winter, so people can see the incredible landscape from the air. I booked [...]

Strange Food: Istanbul’s Chicken Pudding

While in Istanbul, I spent the majority of my time doing two things: eating and walking.  And eating while walking, and walking to restaurants.  Have I mentioned that I enjoy food? One of the most memorable meals was in a tiny, nondescript restaurant by the Galata Bridge called Kismet Muhallebecisi (Kucukpazar Cad. 68, Eminonu, Istanbul).  Jodi [...]

Hiking in Cappadocia: The Freakiest Landscape on Earth

Of all the landscapes in the world, there is NOWHERE that looks like Cappadocia. That’s what drew me to this region of central Turkey — this freaky, otherworldly landscape.  During the Tertiary period (65 million to 2 million years ago), volcanic activity formed the mountains in the region.  Over the next few millions of years, [...]

Istanbul: As Seen By Instagram

Istanbul is an insanely photogenic city — mosques and minarets dotting the landscape, the Bosphorus so much bigger than it looks on a map, the cramped streets filled with meticulously tended buildings, the blood-red Turkish flag waving in the breeze. So of course I had to get out my iPhone to capture this beauty!  Here [...]

Taking a Break in Istanbul — and Where to Do It

When I got to Istanbul, I was physically and mentally exhausted.  I had just had a very fun but very tiring week in Jordan, which came immediately after an exhilarating but exhausting week at WTM in London.  Planning those back to back wasn’t the brightest idea in the universe, and I had basically been going [...]

Adventurous Kate Gets Naked in Public

Getting naked in public is not the kind of thing I set out to do on a regular basis, but in Istanbul, I knew I had to experience a traditional hammam, or Turkish bath! These communal bathing facilities are an institution in Turkey.  A traditional hammam includes a bath, a heavy-duty body scrub, and a [...]