Bucket lists. We all have them. As a couple, ours is quite long! So in December 2012 with several weeks vacation available over the holidays, we turned our sights to Turkey for Part 2 of our honeymoon (we spent Part 1 close to home in southern Indiana and Kentucky). Why Turkey? Being the architecture geek that I am, I had always wanted to visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. I think the exotic-ness of visiting a destination a bit off the beaten track attracted Brian. Turkish is not a language either of us were familiar with; neither of us had visited a Muslim country before; and neither of us had stepped foot in Asia before. Finding an inexpensive, open-jaw airline ticket cemented our decision.
To prep for the trip, we watched some old Rick Steves episodes about Turkey, along with some free travel programs I found on my trusty Roku. We bought Rick Steves’ Istanbul guide and Lonely Planet’s Turkey guide, which has recently been updated. Both books proved invaluable to our trip. We geared up, each taking just a backpack, camera gear, and a shared carry-on. I’m new to “backpack” travel, so we went to REI and purchased me a Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 SL Backpacking Pack. It’s a very nice pack, my only complaint would be that it’s difficult to access items at the bottom of the main compartment without unpacking everything. We both wore hiking boots on the plane and packed comfy walking shoes. Both options came in handy depending what city we were visiting.
I’ll update this post with links as I add new entries about the places we visited. I loved Turkey and hope this will inspire some of you to consider putting it on your bucket list of places to see, despite the current protests (which began with conservationists!).
- Istanbul Part 1 — Where we stayed: the Sultanahmet District
- Istanbul Part 2 — The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque
- Istanbul Part 3 – Bosphorus Cruise to the Black Sea
- Istanbul Part 4 – Topkapi Palace and Other Pleasures
- Cappadocia Part 1 – Göreme
- Cappadocia Part 2 – Ihlara Valley
- Pamukkale & Hierapolis
- Selçuk & Ephesus
- It’s a Necessity – Bathrooms in Turkey