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Turkey (Part II) – Istanbul & Didim – 2012

Turkey (Part II) – Istanbul & Didim – beauty, elegance, ruins and lovely friends

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After 18 months in Asia, we leave Bangkok on the last day of the Thai New Year, a great time for new beginnings, so we take a Malaysia Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur followed by another one to Istanbul. We decided to do it backpacker style and take the train from the airport and then the city tram to Sultanahmet where we check in at the Antique Hotel.   Small but nice, lovely breakfast and the guys are very friendly, helpful and very funny.  We absolutely love Istanbul; it is arguably the most beautiful city we’ve seen so far, it’s so unique, cool, clean and stylish.  It blends the exotic and the familiar masterfully. The girls are elegant, the guys charming, everyone is extremely polite. We want to buy everything we see as it is all so beautiful and again, the food is seriously something else.  As we’ve seen and done all the sightseeing before, we finally have the time to explore Istanbul at our leisure.  We find amazing restaurants, fantastic little shops and as this magical city promises, one surprise around each corner.   We go back to the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar, walk around the myriad of mosques and Islamic architecture buildings.  We also walk across the bridge to Taksim and Pera, on the other side of the Bosphorus Sea to revisit the bohemian side of town.

We leave Istanbul even more in love with the place than we were the first time.  We take an 11 hour bus down south to a place called Didim, on the coast going to visit a lovely English couple we met in Goa, India, in the first year of our trip.   They come to pick us up from the bus station and take us to their lovely home where we are welcomed with warmth, lovely food, great conversation, lots of laughs and last but not least, loads of gin & tonic.   We are up for 3 days of fun, sightseeing, long chats and great food as they take us to try street and restaurant Turkish food.  We visit Miletos (where the Philosopher/Scientist Thales comes from), a lovely Italian village and the ruins of Priene.   We also go to the local market and visit the amazingly imposing Temple of Apollo.  We thought Didim was only a pretty small town on the coast where lots of English people go to live looking for better weather; we didn’t realize there was so much history around the place.  But again, this is Turkey and there is history and culture everywhere.  After having a wonderful time with our friends, (or at least what we can remember of it after all the gin & tonic consumed), we leave after 3 days and take a ferry to Samos, in Greece.   Ciao Turkey, love you long time!

Istanbul - Pera Downtown 011

Istanbul - Pera Downtown 011

Turkey - Didim - Melitos Italian Village and Priene 106

Turkey - Didim - Melitos Italian Village and Priene 106

Turkey - Didim - Melitos Italian Village and Priene 098

Turkey - Didim - Melitos Italian Village and Priene 098

Turkey - Didim - Melitos Italian Village and Priene 072

Turkey - Didim - Melitos Italian Village and Priene 072

Turkey - Didim - Apollon Temple 024

Turkey - Didim - Apollon Temple 024

Turkey - Didim - Apollon Temple 050

Turkey - Didim - Apollon Temple 050

Turkey - Istanbul - Part II 013

Turkey - Istanbul - Part II 013

Turkey - Istanbul - Part II 042

Turkey - Istanbul - Part II 042

Posted by Pauluiza 00:00 Archived in Turkey

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