Sunday, September 26, 2010


While my parents were here they wanted to head up north as well.  My mom did not want to make plans or reservations, just to play the adventure by ear.  So one day we hopped in the car and drove north towards the Black Sea.  We stopped in Safranbolu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well preserved Ottoman-era houses and architecture.

TR Adventures and Wedding 009 We had a lovely time.  We stopped and had a bite to eat at small cafe and then explored town. Yes, in this photo I am on the phone.  I had checked for local hotels and was calling to see if there was room for the night.


And there was!  We stayed at Mehves Hanim Konagi, it was a lovely old Ottoman Style house, wonderfully refurbished. The proprietor was great.  Since it was just my parents and me we thought we could share a large room.  However, since there was no room with 3 beds (only cots for children) she gave us two rooms for the price of one.  IMG_0471

Later we hiked all around town.  There is a large covered pazar which sells all kinds of goods.  Above the city on a hill there is a small park.  For a lira admission you can go in and see a panoramic view of the whole town.  Up on the far side you may be able to see a large yellow building.  That is a restored Ottoman mansion, which is now a museum.TR Adventures and Wedding 013

The museum hosts photos and examples of Safranbolu's history and culture, though all the explanations are in Turkish.  It also has a gallery of local women’s art work. 

After exploring Safranbolu a little morn the next morning we headed off in the morning to the next town on our list.  While it was not too far on the map, it took us longer to reach Amasra than we had thought.  Between the construction, the one-lane bridges and the mountain passes without guardrails it was an exciting drive.   More on that later.      

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kapadokya with the FamFam

The trip to Kapadokya with my family was fantastic!  We stayed at an adorable little place in Goreme.   The owner was incredible helpful.  He steered us to some really wonderful small family owned restaurants where we had some truly incredible food.  I even went back to one of them later and learned how to make Turkish Manti (ravioli).

Showing my parents the incredible rock formations, with their amazing natural properties and unbelievable carvings and churches was really wonderful.  I was so excited to share my favorite parts of my new country with my Famfam. 

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We stayed in a lovely hotel which had a great view of the valley of Goreme. 

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We had two rooms on slightly different levels.  The rooms themselves were carved into the rock walls of the fairy chimneys.

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We shared a balcony which worked out very nicely for post hiking cocktails. 

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My parents were game for all kinds of hiking and tromping.  We climbed hills and rocks, looking for the best views. 

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This visit to Kapadokya we actually had time to hike in Ihlara valley.  This is a valley about 45 minutes away from Goreme.  To enter the valley you have to climb down about 400 steps because the valley walls are made of sheer rock cliffs.  Into these cliffs thousands of year ago people had carved large and elaborately decorated churches complete with vivid frescos.  There are also many cave-dwellings carved into the rock as well.  

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We hiked from the halfway down the valley to the end and saw several lovely churches and lots of cave dwellings. 

056  A stream ran through the middle of the valley separating the two sides.  At the end of the valley we wanted to walk back on the other side to see different scenery but there was no bridge.  We intrepid explorers found a shallow spot to cross and trudged through.  The effort to get to the other side was rewarded as the path was beautiful and there were several more churches on that side.   047

We also managed to visit a few wineries and take advantage of the regions other natural attractions. 

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Rockin’ Times in Turkey!

So my second wedding (to the same man in two months) is coming up.  My parents flew in to Turkey for the wedding and decided since they were in the country to take advantage of the situation.  We have taken two road trips, one to Kapadokya and one to the Black Sea Region.   We have been having a blast since my parents are awesome. 

I have already posted about Kapadokya, but will again soon since this time we went to different hotels, museums and restaurants.  It was also really great to see my parents experience the amazing landscape for the first time.   They also were able to share some new things with me.

My parents are early risers, so without them I never would have seen this. 

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Yes, I am standing barefoot in my pajamas.  It was 6 am.  My parents had seen the hot air balloons coming down at sunrise and pounded on my door until I stumbled out of bed to see what the hell was going on. 

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It really was amazing, if a little bit chilly in my pjs.