All posts tagged: Turkey

Walking Tour of Istanbul

Istanbul is a beautiful city and a great time capsule. The city has been a cultural hub during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. There’s a lot to see but here are my favourite spots and the best part is that they’re all within a thirty minute walk: Start your walk at the Grand Bazaar. Built in the 15th century, this is one of oldest malls in the world and has about 3000 shops. The bazaar is a maze and you could easily get lost but it was a lot of fun to wander around and see the jewellery, carpets, clothing, and art available. I did try to bargain for a carpet but walked away empty-handed because the price was still outside my comfort zone. The selection is overwhelming and the process can be a little intense. Walk east from the bazaar for about 10 minutes and you’ll arrive at the Basilica Cistern which once served as a water reservoir and filtration system for the city including Topkapi Palace. The cistern dates back to the 6th century and …

Out of This World Cappadocia

I don’t say this often but Turkey’s Cappadocia is definitely a must see destination for any world traveler. The unique rock formations, or “fairy chimneys”, at Cappadocia are said to be the result of volcano ashes, basalt and lava deposited and shaped by earthquakes and erosion over time. As the rock below the top layer of basalt is extremely soft, it can be easily carved. Homes have been carved out of these formations and people still leave in them today. Staying in a “cave hotel” is a unique experience and we decided to give it a try during our stay in Cappadocia. The rooms look exactly like they sound, like caves, and are decorated with a few furniture pieces. In May, overnight temperatures in Cappadocia drop dramatically and sleeping in a cave is as authentic as it gets. The owner of the hotel seemed reluctant to turn on the electric heater but he did provide us with a multitude of blankets. Jumping out of bed and into the cold cave shower was a sure way to get us going …