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The Ancient City of Ephesus

Our last stop in Turkey was Selçuk which we chose mainly for it’s proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus. We also read that it’s only a short bus ride from Şirince, a neighbouring town famous for its wines. We spent four nights in Selçuk (you only really need two) because we wanted to relax before our overnight flight to Dubai followed by another overflight flight to India three days later. Continue reading

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Pamukkale: Another Gorgeous Vista in Turkey

The village of Pamukkale, which translates to “cotton castle,” was where we headed to after Cappadocia. After our amazing time awing at the stunning landscape of Cappadocia, I didn’t think anything else could match up to it. However, Pamukkale was so unique in it’s own way that I believe it’s one of the most beautiful natural sites in the world. It’s much smaller than Cappadocia and you really only need one full day to enjoy the natural beauty it offers. Continue reading

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Cappadocia: A Surreal Landscape

Our first views of Cappadocia, a region in central Turkey, were from the window of our shuttle van which picked us up at the Kayseri airport and drove us roughly an hour to our hotel in Göreme. Although we had Googled the area and had an idea of what it would like, it was still pretty cool to see the mars-like landscape in person. When we arrived at our hotel the receptionist asked us if we had already signed up for the red, green or blue tour. Neither of us had a clue what he was talking about and excused ourselves to go Google it in our room. We clearly had done very little research of the area because the first thing that comes up is those tours and almost everyone (who doesn’t rent a car) does a tour. We are usually fairly anti-tour but this one was the only way possible to see everything in the region in a limited time – and I was really interested in learning more about how the landscape was formed. Continue reading

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Istanbul – Not what we Expected

I was really getting used to flushing toilet paper, transit systems that were integrated with Google Maps, organized infrastructure, and pedestrian crosswalks that were respected. I was enjoying simply being left alone when I walked down the street. I was getting used to people who respected queues, waited their turn, didn’t push and shove or budge their way to the front. I started assuming that all food was safe to eat and drinking the tap water was OK. I loved getting on trains that left the second they were supposed to and travelled at speeds upwards of 300km/hr to get you to your destination in a timely manner. We’d been enjoying all these ‘privileges’ (without thinking of them as such) over the past four months of our trip, ever since we left Latin America. Don’t get me wrong; Europe was by no means perfect and there were some exceptions to the above, but they were just that: exceptions. By and large, Europe is very efficient and extremely Westernized.  Continue reading