A Travellerspoint blog

I'm finally home!

I made it home! I must admit, I was pretty anxious until I actually got on the plane. I counted nine checkpoints at the Attaturk Airport where I had to show my passport. At the passport control, the guy called someone else to look at my passport since it didn't have the stamp of when I entered the country. But he waved me through and I stopped sweating. I got a nicer flight than my original. I flew Turkish Air direct to Chicago and then home to Seattle. Turkish Air had good food and I even got a big glass of Raki (Turkish liquor). The plane was not full so I didn't have anyone sitting next to me so I had more room. All went well and I got home about 9 pm. Maggie and Joe picked me up and I couldn't have been happier than to see my home again. I didn't even mind that it was as cool as when I had left. It's so nice to sleep in my own bed again. It was quite an adventure and one I will never forget.

Posted by adventuregirl88 16:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

My last day in Turkey, really

This day was much better than yesterday. I waited all morning for my passport to arrive. I planned to move hotels as soon as it came. The one I was in was a dump in a place far away from anything interesting. I made a reservation for the Garden House where I stayed before. It is a lovely hotel in the old section, within walking distance of lots of sites. I had to check out at noon and the passport had not arrived yet. Just as I was asking to sit in the lobby until it came, it came. Perfect timing! So I took it and got a cab to the old section. It was like coming home to go back to the Garden House. They remembered me and were very kind. I got another lovely room and was so glad to be there. So I had all afternoon free so I decided to see the one thing I regretted not seeing before-the Archaeology Museum. I spent three hours wandering through four different buildings full of incredible stuff. The history is still complicated but it pulled a lot of things together for me from the sites I had seen around the country. It was nice to go at my own pace and read a lot of info. I came back to my room and at 8 pm went downstairs for dinner. It was lovely. I feel so much better now and it is nice to know I will be on my way home tomorrow morning. So I am sipping my complimentary wine while I pack for tomorrow. I am really ready to go home!!

Archaeology Museum

Archaeology Museum


Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great


Tile building from the Ottoman period

Tile building from the Ottoman period

Posted by adventuregirl88 16:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Lousey end to a fabulous trip

This was the last day of my tour. Saving the best for last. We went to Ephesus in the morning stopping first at the house where Jesus mother, Mary lived out the rest of her life. It was way up in the hills which I wondered about but later realized that she came there when Christians were being persecuted. So it made sense that they were away from the city. They believe that this was the location and there were foundations on this spot. It was Sunday and there was an outdoor church service going on right next to the house. I wish I could have stayed for it. Ephesus was as grand as I had heard. It is the most reconstructed of the ruins. It was a major trading port so a very busy place until the water receded and it was no longer a port city. It was hot and very full of tourists but well worth the visit. I guess we were a little "ruined out" after having been to so many sites, but it was important to see. After our visit, we stopped for lunch at a lovely restaurant. Very Turkish and has some new things to try. We knew it was our last meal together since I was catching a flight at 8pm for Istanbul for a 7am flight the next morning. We went into Kashadasi to the bazaar to do some last minute shopping and then back to Paul and Diana's hotel before saying our goodbyes. Murat and the driver dropped me off at the Izmir airport and I went to check in. That's when I discovered that my passport was gone. I couldn't believe it! I looked everywhere but it must have fallen out of my purse sometime during the day. They let me on the flight and I checked into the hotel near the airport. I got up the next morning and went to the airport but they said I would have to go to the US Embassy in Istanbul and get a new passport. So I missed my flights. I got a hotel booked from the airport and a shuttle into town. It was about 7:30 am when I got in so I went to my room to wait for the Embassy to open at 9 am. I took a taxi to the Embassy. It was a 20 minute ride-way out of the center of town. A huge building. It took two hours to go through the process of getting a new passport and it will be delivered to the hotel sometime tomorrow morning. Now I have to figure out a new set of flights. I may have to stay a second night in Istanbul before getting out.

Virgin Mary's house

Virgin Mary's house


Ephesus

Ephesus


Ephesus

Ephesus


Gateway from the sea looking at the theater

Gateway from the sea looking at the theater


Our last lunch together

Our last lunch together

Posted by adventuregirl88 16:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Another incredible ruin

We left Antalya this morning and drove several hours to Afrodisias. This area was settled as early as 5000 BC. By the 3rd century BC it was the capitol of the Roman province of Caria. It was eventually abandon in the 12th century. It is a huge site with some special parts. There has been ongoing reconstruction which is really impressive. There is a stadium that is incredibly long. It was used for chariot races and was the site of an Olympic games. Later the Romans walled off a smaller end for gladiator fights. The stadium seated 30 thousand! There were incredible numbers of friezes on all the building and columns everywhere. Incredible place. The museum was full of statues and friezes found on the site right where they fell. It was really hot but there was occasional shade. We went to lunch at a really lovely place. The bathrooms throughout the trip have varied a lot but this was the most beautiful bathroom I encountered. I don't normally take pictures of a bathroom but I did this one. After lunch we drove a few more hours to Kusadasi on the coast. Again, Paul and Diana are in a different hotel. I think I got the best place. It is a big modern hotel right on the water. My room looks out on the Aegean Sea and I have a nice deck with chairs. The swimming pool is gorgeous. I went for a swim and it was heavenly. It would have been nice to swim in the Aegean but it is high tide and the sea is a bit rough. I went down for dinner and was impressed with the food. It was great. I didn't even mind eating alone since I could sit outside and watch the sun set. I wish I could stay one more night but tomorrow night I have to fly up to the Istanbul airport and stay in a hotel close by since my first flight back leaves at 7am.

Stadium at Afrodisias

Stadium at Afrodisias


Main entrance to Afrodisias

Main entrance to Afrodisias


Aphrodite

Aphrodite


My hotel in Kusadasi

My hotel in Kusadasi

Posted by adventuregirl88 16:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Looks like snow

After a long ride through the mountains again we arrived in Pamukkale in time for a late lunch. It is really hot here! We could see the hillside of Travertines (calcium carbonate) that developed over 10000 years, depositing the calcium down the hillside. It looks so unreal! We went to the top by van. Above the hillside is an incredible ruin of an entire major Roman city. The Romans appreciated a good bath area when they saw it so they built all around it and took advantage of the hot springs water. The area is so big. You can see ruins in every direction as far as you can see. The travertines have been a big tourist attraction since people lived in this area. It hasn't changed. The place is crawling with tourists from everywhere. We walked down to the pools where everyone goes, many in swimsuits. The water is warm but it is hard to walk on areas with rocks. Some of it is so smooth from so much water flowing over it. We walked among the ruins. We saw where the bath was and the temple to Apollo and another large theater. The steps on this one were incredibly steep. We were dying in the heat and grateful when we got back to the van. Again, Paul and Diana are in a different hotel and since dinner is included at our respective hotels, I will be eating alone tonight. My hotel is lovely. My room is very nice but I can only use wifi in the lobby. Not too convenient! I got my suit on as soon as I got into my room since I was so hot. The pool is beautiful. And you can see the travertines from there. So I spent some time relaxing by the pool with a beer. I was almost alone there. Right after I left large groups of people arrived so the place is loaded.

Travertines

Travertines


Travertines

Travertines


Travertines

Travertines


Roman Bath

Roman Bath


Temple to Apollo

Temple to Apollo


Roman theater

Roman theater


My hotel

My hotel

Posted by adventuregirl88 16:00 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

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