Monday, April 30, 2012

Istanbul: Day 6

For our last full day in Istanbul, we decided to have a leisurely day of shopping and relaxing. We headed to Taksim Square and walked all the way down Istiklal Caddesi (known for shopping and bars) and then to the Galata Tower.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cappadocia: Day 5

For our fifth day abroad, we'd booked flights and shuttles to Göreme, which is a little town in the region of Cappadocia. Cappadocia is famous for its cave dwellings and interesting landscape. You can actually book a cave hotel and stay here but I'm claustrophobic and the idea of sleeping in an enclosed rock structure scares me a bit. It turns out we'd made a really good decision because one day was plenty of time to explore the town; plus, we're not really "country" folk and it's seriously minimal, old-fashioned living out there.

The plane ride was really quick, just a little over an hour, and our shuttle was waiting for us. The shuttle took about an hour to get us from Kayseri Airport to the town center, but that was fine with me since I was tired from our early morning (we woke up at around 4:00 to be able to get to the airport by 6:00 for our 8:00 flight).

Itinerary:
lunch at Kale Terasse
Open Air Museum (15 TL)
My House Cafe Restaurant
airport - Arby's chicken nuggets for breakfast

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Istanbul: Day 4

Itinerary:
Basilica Cistern (10 TL)
Dolmabahçe Palace (40 TL for both Harem & Selamlik)
Park Fora Restaurant

The Basilica Cistern is hauntingly beautiful. If you don't know, a cistern is basically a huge holding tank for liquids - usually water - and this one is really famous. It was even used in one of the Bond films. The lighting makes it kind of a difficult place to photograph but it's v. beautiful and gives it an eerie, kind of magical ambiance. It takes about 30 minutes to explore the whole place and the highlight is probably the Medusa head columns.
Basilica Cistern

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Istanbul: Day 3

Itinerary:
Seoul Jeong Restaurant - hangover food
Topkapi Palace (20 TL)
Grand Bazaar

The previous night of dancing and drinking left us craving some comfort food (a.k.a. Korean) so we found a Korean restaurant within walking distance of our hotel. I had ramen, which was so good and hit the spot, while D had yukaejang, which was also really good. The food was actually authentic and we enjoyed it immensely and it definitely cured our hangovers.

Topkapi Palace is incredible. Yes, it costs money, but there's a lot to see and we spent about 4 hours walking around looking at all of the buildings and exhibits. Some places don't allow photography though, so beware.
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