The Silk Road…camels, caravans, bandits, and adventure!
The front door to the Aksaray Caravanserai
Growing up, I devoured stories about the camel caravans and the merchants that traveled the Silk Road. I fell in love with the idea that these caravans were constantly moving, winding their way through unknown territories. It’s no wonder that I grew up loving to travel, to experience new cultures, and to be on the move…always on the move.
You can see how hot and dusty it would be following a road like this one. For a travelling merchant, a caravanserai would be a [...]
Istanbul is one of the most exotic and exciting cities in the world! Here is my down and dirty Istanbul travel guide.
I’ve made a list, in the order of importance, for you to follow when visiting Istanbul. These are all good sights, and there are plenty more.
Aya Sofya Blue Mosque Hippodrome Basilica Cistern
Numbers 1-4 are all in the same area. The Hippodrome is hard to notice..it’s basically the road with a few statues in the middle, but it used to be where they would hold chariot races and receive foreign dignitaries. The Basilica [...]
Turkish breakfast or “kahvaltı” is a great way to get your day started and it’s tasty, too!
There are so many good things about Turkish breakfast. Many of the foods are staples in the Turkish kitchen: bread, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, yogurt, eggs, olives, honey, jam, and sometimes meat.
Turkish bread is amazing. Years ago, the ekmek (bread) was a flatter loaf, almost like a pita, but not that thin. Every street had a baker very close by, and someone would walk down and buy the warm bread. Today the loaves have changed a little, they are more like [...]
Bridal showers are bridal showers! They all have one thing in common, a blushing bride and a lot of fun!
In Turkey, the typical “bridal” shower is a “Kına Gecesi,” which literally means “henna evening.” Only women attend henna parties, although these days, some men sneak in towards the end of the evening when the party is in full swing. Traditionally the henna party was thrown the very last night before the girl is married and taken away from her family, and it served as a sad going away party. Today, however, if a bride even chooses to have [...]
Far off the beaten path, the ruins of Ani are well worth the trip!
The ruins of the ancient Silk Road city of Ani are located in the far east of Turkey, right on the Armenian border. In fact, you can see the Armenian guards peering over the river gorge from their guard shacks.
Before the Mongols came through eastern Turkey and leveled it, Ani was an extremely prosperous town of over 100,000 people. Today, you can see how large the city was, as the ruins are scattered over quite a large area.
As much of the northern hemisphere starts to cool, leaves turn yellow then brown, the southern shores of Turkey are the perfect temperatures. I love going to the beaches on Turkey’s Meditteranean coast.
Antalya, pictured here, is a beautiful southern town! Not only can you go to the beach or take a boat ride during the day, but all around the harbor are fantastic tea houses and restaurants to relax for a pleasantly warm evening.
Have you been to Antalya or any of the southern towns in Turkey? If not, October is the [...]
In the hills of Turkey, along the Black Sea coast, there are a friendly and welcoming people with their own language that you may have never heard of, the Laz people.
Descendants of the Colchis, who you may know from Jason and the Argonauts, the Laz people now live primarily in southern Georgia and northern Turkey. They wear their scarves different than other places, so it is easy to see who they are from a distance. When you get closer, you may also notice that they speak their own language as well. Unfortunately, like many old languages that are [...]
Cappadocia, the rock valley in central Turkey is one of my favorite places on the earth.
While living in Turkey, we drove over to Cappadocia about twice a year. It was a nice weekend away, and we were always able to enjoy beautiful vistas such as this one.
May and June really bring out all the flowers everywhere in the country. The temperature isn’t yet too high, and much of the landscape is still green, although getting browner everyday. It is by far the best time to visit.
I miss Turkey, and of course have been thinking of it [...]
Ani, perched dangerously on the edge of Turkey and overlooking its old host, Armenia, is a fantastic site that not too many people get to go to.
Once a bustling metropolis to rival the other big cities of its time, Ani, has wasted away thanks to invasions, earthquakes, and even modern-day arguments. The land it sits on is still debated upon by the Armenians and the Turks. The Armenians want it back.
As we walked around the ruins, we could feel both Armenian guards, from across the river, and Turkish guards high in the citadel watching us.
Spring and babies! These little falcons are so wide-eyed.
Who doesn’t love it when spring arrives, bringing all manner of new little babies in the world. And I didn’t know how cute falcons could be!
These little guys were hatched in a window cell of an attic way at the top of a huge hill not far from Mardin, Turkey. We weren’t out looking for falcons or their offspring, we were there for the architecture, markets, and Turkish hospitality, but hey, what a bonus!
They are probably at their fuzziest, cutest stage of development. We didn’t bother them for [...]
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Jim and I are an American married couple who have had the opportunity to live all over the world thanks to our work. We are both teachers, and currently we're working in Schweinfurt, Germany where we plan to stay for the next few years. Continue reading... Follow @corinnevail