Sunday, October 19, 2014

Turkey in 213 Seconds

As you know, my dear readers, I'm currently overseas, spending a few months in Turkey. In recognition of my travels, my friend, Jason, recently brought a short film called "Watchower of Turkey" to my attention.

For 20 days, Leonardo Dalessandri traveled more than 3500 km in Turkey, all the while capturing Turkey's gorgeous landscapes and people on film. "Watchtower of Turkey," edited and directed by Leonardo, is an amazing video, rich in color and sound, that summarizes Leonardo's travels.

Like Leonardo, I've been fortunate to witness some of the sites in this video, such as Pamukkale and Ephesus, first-hand. I look forward to seeing more sites during the remainder of my stay in Turkey.

My mom just flew out to Turkey to join us for the next few weeks. During her visit, I'll be blog-silent. I hope you'll enjoy this video in my absence, watching it over and over again, as I have.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Ruins at Ephesus

Ephesus is an ancient Greek city, located in present day Turkey.

Beginning in AD 50, Ephesus was an important center for Christianity. It is estimated that as many as 56,000 people lived within the city during the height of the Roman Empire, 180 years earlier.  As you can imagine, there is an abundance of history in the ruins at Ephesus.

We spent an afternoon visiting the ruins. Though my knowledge of and interest in the specifics of the history of the ruins is scant, I very much enjoyed seeing the ruins.

Me, at Ephesus.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Boat Ride to Turtle Beach

A little while back, Ferit and I took a boat ride from the town of Dalyan (in Turkey) to İztuzu Beach.

Affectionately known as "Turtle Beach," the 4.5 km-long sandy spit is the breeding grounds for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Due to conservation efforts, the beach is only accessible to the public during certain times of the year. During these times, beachgoers must abide by strict rules as they enjoy the beach and the seawater.

The beach was absolutely pristine. We walked the entire length of the beach and back, talking, holding hands, and enjoying each other's company the entire way. Before re-boarding the boat for our return trip, we swam in the Aegean Sea.

While we neglected to take any photos of our time enjoying the beach, we did capture some photos of the boat ride to and from the beach.

The boat, winding through the river passageways of the Dalyan Delta.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gallipoli: A Movie Takes on Meaning

How good is your knowledge of World War I history? Do you remember the Battle of Gallipoli?

If not, then perhaps this map rings a bell for you.

The Battle of Gallipoli.

If neither the battle name nor the map tickles your history memory neurons, then maybe you recall watching the 1981 film entitled "Gallipoli."

I remember watching that "Gallipoli" movie my senior year in high school, as part of my AP European History class. For the record, AP European History was my absolute least favorite class. Thank god Mel Gibson starred in the film, or I very well may have napped through the movie, thereby forever filing "Gallipoli" and its battle into my memory's trash receptacle.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Akyaka Sunsets

Akyaka is a coastal town in the southwest corner of Turkey. It is tucked into the far end of the Gulf of Gökova.

Ferit loves Akyaka, primarily because of its primo conditions for kite surfing. But I've fallen in love with Akyaka, too -- partially because of its neighbor, the sea, and partially because of the beautiful mountains that surround the valley. But mostly because of Akyaka's amazing sunsets.

My first Akyaka sunset, overlooking the Gökova valley.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Cotton Castles of Pamukkale

Judging by the photo below, one might think we've moved on from our travels in Turkey and are now visiting the Antarctic.

This looks an awful lot like snow and ice cold water, eh?

Such thoughts, however, would be wrong. We are still in Turkey, turkey. And I'm standing aside a hot spring-fed travertine pool in the temperate-climated town of Pamukkale.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tandem Riding: Doggie Style

During one of our stays in Akyaka, Turkey, we decided to rent bicycles and explore the beautiful seaside valley on two wheels. We chose a pleasant 30 km loop around the valley, and after some deliberation, we settled on renting a single bicycle for the both of us.

As Ferit and I were both tandem virgins, we weren't quite sure how tandem riding worked. But, with Ferit as the bicycle's fearless captain and with me as the ever-ready stoker, we were confident we could figure out how a couple goes about losing their tandem virginity.

Excited to start the ride.

It took a mile or so for us to figure out how to ride together. Once Ferit learned how to use the gears, and once I learned to begin pedaling only after Ferit's feet were firmly planted on the pedals, we were golden.