Turkey · 16 Days · 103 Moments · April 2015

Family voyage in Turkey

20 April 2015

At 8pm, surprisingly, our guide (Orguz) came to pick us up himself to send us to the airport. He must be liking our group as actually, it's not in the schedule for him to send us off. Reaching the airport and had some dinner at food court inside (in order to spend all the lira as it's not worth exchange back) Then we went to wait in airline lounge which is a huge place. The plane called for boarding so early..1 hr in advance. We took bus to the plane and took off on time. The flight was smooth with nice weather. We landed in Bangkok half and hour earlier than schedule (1:30pm). End of our Turkey trip.
After Hagia Sophia, we walked to Gülhan park. The weather was nice with sunny. Great for photo shooting.
The last day in Istanbul...we spent the whole morning in Hagia Sophia, where Christianity meets Islam. The place is amazing and beautiful. We read lonely planet book and follow to see every important things in the museum. After that we stopped nearby place at the tombs of 5 sultans buried next to Hagia Sophia.

14 April 2015

After going back to check out at the hotel, we went out to visit places again as our flight was in late night so we still had time to visit more places. In the afternoon, we took tram out of the old city up north to the city wall and visit Chora church. Unfortunately, it was closed inside. We had a chance to visit the outer part to see the ceiling painting only. After leaving the church, the weather suddenly changed to windy, cold and started to rain. We went back to Sultanahmet and walk to Gulhane park again and went in the cafe to drink tea. Then some of us still had tram card money left, so took the tram to Sultanahmet station while some walked back. We got refund from istanbulkart about 5 Lira (buy at 7lira) Finally, it was so cold and had 1-2 hours left, we walked back to the hotel to wait for our van to pick us up to the airport.
Our dinner for tonight is Korean food again.. A bit bored of Kebab.

13 April 2015

On the way back to hotel, we walked pass Hippodome, the ancient obelisk from Egypt. The sunset makes the photoshoot looks nice
Everything in Grand Bazaar is quite expensive. More expensive than outside shop. Recommend to buy souvenir from outside rather than here or spice market.
In the evening, we took the tram back to Bayazit mosque but it was closed. We only took the picture of Istanbul university which is located nearby and walk into Grand Bazaar which is closed to the mosque
After taking the ferry back to Europe side, we took a walk on Galata bridge, seeing lots of people do fishing on the bridge. Surprisingly, each of them can get many fishes in medium to big size. This means this area is so fruitful. Also, there are small boats on the shore, selling fish sandwich where people have dinner right there. The fish sandwich is served with lime one it. We did not taste it as too many people queuing.
Then we took the tram to Eminonu port to take ferry cross Bosphorus from Europe side to Asia side at Kadikoy port. When reaching there, actually, we want to stay in the ferry to go back to eminomu but they don't allow us and we had to go out and come in to pay the ticket fee again. When we were outside at Kadikoy port, we look at the map to find the place to go. Turkish person offers help. They are very kind and we can find this kindness all the time in Turkey
Then we tried Mado icecream which our local guide had recommended. The icecream is very sticky and milky. Nice to try.
After Topkapi palace, we had lunch in Sutanahmet Kodtesici. Very nice small restaurant with good chicken kebab. Then, our next stop is visiting Basillica Cistern, the underground place where we found evil eyes column and medusa column
Beautiful garden with tulips in the palace
Beautiful decoration in each room however we just found out that we miss the big diamond (we did not know where it's located)
This morning, we dedicated the whole morning to walk in and out kiosk after kiosk in Topkapi Palace. The weather is very nice and sunny with a bit cool when go inside the building.
Good morning in Istanbul with Turkish breakfast
Today is the second morning in Cappadocia where we hope the balloon will operate normally. Unfortunately, the weather is so cold (at 0-2 degree in the morning) Too freezing to fly the balloon. So, we have to leave Cappadocia with disappointment.
Finish our dinner with Baklava, the welknown Turkish dessert

12 April 2015

We have scenic view dinner at Surplus restaurant where our guide recommended and made reservationn for us. At first, we were seated in not so good view table but we are not satisfied and told the restaurant we booked and requested Bosphorus view table. Finally when we quote Oskuz name, so they agree to seat us as we want.
Then we walk to buy some friends souvenir in Spice Bazaar and walk along the coast of Bosphorus where we saw many people and the boat where people go eating fish with lemon in the buns.
Süleymaniye mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul where lies the tomb of Süleymaniye sultan, too.
After checking in, we start to walk around, taking the tram to Eminonu and walk to Sulaiman mosque. Along the way, we thought we lost but there is a sign like this showing us the way.
Arriving Istanbul, the Dorak tour, our tour arranged the new van to pick us up at the airport with out guide, Oskuz who rides with us to send us to our hotel, the same place where we stayed the first night we arrived Turkey.
We took the flight from Keysiri to Istanbul around noon, taking some snacks on board.
We ended the day by walking to shop around our hotel again. Got some souvenir and dinner in room with mama and wine from Best western souvenir. Very cold indeed!

11 April 2015

Panoramic view of Cappadocia
Then visit another cave houses
Our lunch for today is at cave restaurant with nice view of cave wall.
Then we go to göreme outdoor museum, to have a look at painting inside the cave churches. There are 375 churches in the area
We also visited potter factory where we bought some glasses with unique design, specially from this place only (what they told us)
We visit many places in Cappadocia. Different landscape with rocks, cave in strange form, which formed from lava and being carved by rain, water and wind to be different shape. The place we visited is the only place with 3 rocks on top of the columns are in the same base.
Last night our dinner was with belly dance show. In the morning, our balloon flight was cancelled due to bad weather condition. ( no call to wake us up at 4 am) In the morning, we woke up with -1 degree. So freezing!

10 April 2015

After that, we visit carpet factory...quite and awkward situation when sale tried to sell us the carpet but the cost way too expensive. Finally, my bro bought 1 small carpet to help out the saleperson. Then we go to the hotel. Out hotel is cabe hotel.. Very chic one.
After lunch we visited underground city "Kaymakli" the second largest underground city of Turkey
Amazing underground city where people in the past inhibited. Each underground city are connected to each other.
We stopped for lunch. Met lots of other tours in the same restaurant. Today lunch is Thai food.
Along the way, variety of landscape can be seen: from rock to red dirt to snow.
Today we leave Konya and drive to Göreme, Cappadocia. On the way, stop to visit Sultanami Caravanserai, the place where merchants would stay and rest their camel before continue their journey. On the Caravanserai, there will be all kinds of shop to service them. Normally, the camel will be able to walk 40 km a day.

9 April 2015

View from the front of Mavelava mosque
We finish our today tour quite early, have free time to walk around Konya city. Nothing much but walking street where selling things, mainly the bride and groom dress and gold. Then we passed the mosque again to take picture at the front. On the way back, do some grocery in a supermarket for our mama dinner.
Reaching Konya in bright sunny day (the forecast is raining, so we are lucky) Stop by at the mosque where Mavelava, the leader of Sufy (the pilgrimage) tomb is.
Heavy snow and cold at 6 degree. We took lunch in the hill under the snow.
We stop half way on the mountain to photoshoot the snow which is a surprise to experience snow here in Turkey
On the way to Konya, raining but nice scenery along the way on the mountain
On the way, We stop to visit Aspendos, the Grecoroman theater. It is one of the most complete theatre that still use to real performance nowadays. 3 differences btw roman and greek theatre 1. Greek: seating down to the bottom while Roman: have wall a the bottom and seat about row 3-4 up to avoid gladiator and lion fight 2. Stage for greek is in horse shoe design while roman in half circle 3. Greek back stage will separate from seating while roman back stage attached to seating to prevent earthquake Grecoroman = mix btw the two style.
Our trip today is to drive from Antalya to Konya
Breakfast with lots of food in the hotel. We have more time this morning as today itinerary is not that tight. We will check out around 9am so have more chill time for breakfast to taste variety of turkish food eg turkish tea, honey, tomato soup, sikit bread,etc
Morning habour view from the hotel room at Best Western Antalya
We check in at Best Western hotel for the night. Got complimentary fruit and a bottle of red wine

8 April 2015

The habour
Then we go take a walk in old town to the tower and see the cliff and harbour view of the city
After late lunch, visit Dendu waterfall. The waterfall in the city as it spring out of the ground rather than from top of mountain
We stop for lunch by the waterfall restaurant. Great view with Trout fish dish
Scenic view from Pamukkale to Antalya
After Pamukkale our van bring us to Antalya. The view along the way is so scenic with mountains in different color. Sometimes green, sometimes rocks.
This morning we wake up early and came out to walk a bit waiting for breakfast which is served at 8 am. After breakfast, visit the world heritage "Pamukkale" where we have to take of our shoes and walk in the calsium water among the white stones..such a wonderful view
Dinner near our hotel with front view of Pamukkale..so chill

7 April 2015

Reaching Pamukkale around 5pm..unlike yesterday when we faced rain, the weather is very nice today. Our hotel is just 5 min walk to Natural park where we can see Pamukkale from the bottom
Driving from Selcuk to the east, to Pamukkale
Before lunch we go see fashion show of leather shop. Our lunch is buffet...same as the first day
Medusa statue
Lots of interesting history. This one is the goddess of victory, Nike
Then we go visit Ephesus, the ancient city.
After breakfast, we check out and go visit the first place "Home of Virgin Mary" the holy place where we pray, drink holy water and write our wish on the paper
Having breakfast on the 5th floor with a view
Wake up in the morning and walk around the city a bit in front of our hotel to take pictures
Reaching Kusadesi very late at night. So, check in our hotel and have mama tom yum goong as dinner. It's a longgg day. Everyone is so tired so we all go to bed
The first night, as we are all so tired. We had Korean noodle as dinner near hotel and back to check in and sleep tight

6 April 2015

Stop by rest area for driver to rest and we go W.C.
Then we drive long way down south to Kusadesi
Ancient city. Pergamon Acopolis. Aco= peak. polis=city
After lunch we go visit Acopolis by taking cable car uphill. It is raining and wet and cold.
Lunch time with buffet turkish food. Quite tasty and Ok. It has Thailand flag and Turkey flag put on our table.
Stop for W.C. And visit olive shop. Got one foot lotion for Nong pie
Then drive along the western coast of Turkey. It was raining from time to time
We continue our journey on Asia side to Troy to visit the famous Trojan Horse
The ferry was a fast one. It took only 20-30 min only to cross the sea
Since not so many cars, they change ferry schedule to be every 1 hour instead of half an hour. So, we have time to walk around the bay under the rain. The weather was so cold.
Our van
We took a van with our special group guide, Mr. Oz from Istanbul to the west coast and took the ferry cross from Europe continent to Asia
A long 4 hours drive from Istanbul to Canakkale
We started the 2nd day very early at 5 am. Our tour guide was already waiting for us with Mercedez van when we came down. Sandwich breakfast has been prepared for us by the hotel

5 April 2015

Nice shop on Aratas market on the way walking back to hotel
We took the tram back to Sultanahmet and visit inside the Blue Mosque
After a long wait on queue for an hour and a half, here is the panoramic breathtaking view of Galata Bridge and Istanbul
We walked along Istiklal street to Galata tower
Another food that can be seen often in Istanbul
Christian church in the middle of Istiklal street
Turkish delight shop on Istiklal street
Istiklal street with lots of people walking
Kao Lad...can be seen along the way we walked on Istiklal street
Our lunch place on Istiklal street
Our lunch..actually the first meal in Turkey
Taksim square
From Dolmabançe palace, we walked back to Kalatas to take fernicular to Taksim square. A bit mistake with access to fernicular. We went to the wrong one, so, got to pay twice...well..getting lost is one way to learn eh
Inside the palace, variety of animal. Turkey is one of them
Beautiful palace @Dolmabançe
The cafe area in front of Harem entrance. Still remember my previous visit here was so cold. But today, the weather is better
First place of visiting, we went via tram line T1 to the last station and walked a bit to Dolmabançe Palace, queuing to go inside the Administrative building and Harem. Then visited museum of painting where not many people go.
It's the right time to see tulip
Blue Mosque, Istanbul which we are still questioning why the place is called Blue when look like grey color?
Arriving at Ataturk International airport at Istanbul. The flight is on time. Got a bit delay at immigration as the couple in front of me did not have visa to enter.
At baggage belt, this is the thing to help loosen the weight of our baggage in case our baggages are too heavy