Trip Start Aug 20, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Turkey  , Antalya,
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This was "into the unknown" time for me. All I really thought of Turkey up to this point were water pipes, spice markets, mosques, and an unusual smell perhaps. All true, but much much more. Thank God!

I arrived in Istanbul at 7 pm on Nov.12. Thank The Lord (again) that my travel agent told me to get my visitors visa before I entered the passport control line up! That would have been an hour wasted. Afterwards, I got my Turkish currency, the lira, and a cab to bring me to the hotel where my tour was starting! It's just fascinating to have a cab driver meander through the narrow roads with markets and bicycles everywhere, and say," Here is your hotel, ok?". Yes! Question mark! He made three stops and said/asked me that every time. When I told him that I didn't see my hotel name anywhere, and no I wasn't getting out, he asked someone on the street and I was safe and sound. Yay!

My tour guides name is Sulleyman, who is Turkish and really tries his best with English. He is really much better than he gives himself credit for, but it's just wonderful having someone who speaks the language. The next day at 5am i heard this loud chant on a speaker phone. Thinking it was just some late going party people I ignored it and tried to get more sleep. I was later informed that it was a call to start prayer, and that it happens five times a day. I later went with some people to Hagia Sophia museum and Basilica cistern since we had a free morning.

We covered a lot of ground since, and have done quite a bit!
-Eceabat we went out on Gallipoli penninsula to Anzac cove
- Selcuk we visited ruins in the Mediterranean the ancient site of Ephesus, saw the basilica of St. John
-Fethiye was hiking time! 25 km in total along the coastline and close to Mount Baba. First day was pretty much uphill with some flat areas. Yay for good weather! We got to stay in the cutest bungalows and have THE BEST dinner ever! It was all vegetarian, and mostly home grown. Potato, spinach, rice and barley, lentil soup, salad, fruit salad, and the bread! Oh my GOD the bread was spectacular! That was my dessert! We did 14 km the first day, so we finished off the 11 km the next day and my legs were loving it. So good to work them hard again!
-Kas we were very lucky with the weather and had a day of sun for kayaking over The Sunken City, and in view of some Greek islands. Today was a little cloudy, but for mountain biking it was good. Yowza were my legs screaming! Time for a nice Turkish bath including a massage at the Hamam.

The last 3 days are just visiting more mosques and ruins, and sitting on the bus until we reach Istanbul to say goodbye. Then I have a week to roam on my own before I head to Santorini in Greece!

Goodbye! Allahaısmarladık!
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