Friday, November 21, 2014

Izmir, A Hamam, Ankara, & The Salt Lake

Ferit had arrived at a good pausing point in designing his family's home, so we were ready to embark on our road trip.

As Ferit and his mom needed to tend to some matters in Acipayam, Alaattin, and Izmir, our road trip began with a visit to these three locations.

On our drive from Alaattin to Izmir, we stopped for a picnic at a roadside playground.
Left to right: My mom, Ferit's mom, and Ferit.

While Ferit and his mom took care of some business in Izmir, my mom and I had some time to explore the third largest city in Turkey.

We went for a walk along the Aegean Sea.

We saw the Clock Tower in Konak Square.
The square was a great place to people-watch.

This man was selling simits (Turkish bagels) from his bicycle.

This kitty was patiently waiting for a handout.

We walked the aisles of the Kızlarağası Han Bazaar,
the nucleus of the bazaar district.

Benches seemed to be a popular theme of our visit to Izmir.
Here, a street dog napped peacefully on a bench,
while another street dog snoozed in the grass.

Outside the bazaar, a gentlemen snoozed on a bench.

And these three monkeys, spotted at the bazaar,
saw no evil, heard no evil, and spoke no evil.

Later in the afternoon, Ferit's mom took the bus back to Fethiye, and so my mom, Ferit, and I began the "real" road trip.

Ankara was our next stop. To break up the long drive, we decided to stop for the night in Afyonkarahisar. We found a great hotel that had an in-room private hamam (Turkish bath).

Welcome to our private hamam.

A panoramic of our hamam. The wash basin was in the back left corner,
and the pool was in the front right corner.
The only thing we were missing was a masseur.

Ferit gave us a lesson in how to properly wash in the hamam.
Mom and I were diligent students.
After we washed up, we moved to the pool for a soak.
Ah, living the good life!

The next day we headed to Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

We visited Atatürk's memorial.
The was the beautiful walkway leading up to the memorial.

Me and mom, with Atatürk's memorial behind us.

A soldier guarded Atatürk's sarcophagus.

We visited Ferit's college campus and some of the places he used to hang out.
This now defunct building was a popular bar in Ferit's school days.

And we visited the Ankara Citadel in Old Town.
Here, a caged bird looks out over the streets.

Me and mom.
It was interesting how the citadel was constructed using
recycled antique building blocks.

For example, four statues were aligned horizontally to help fill one row of the wall.
In the photo of me and my mom above, you can see the statues
just above and to the left of our heads.

Me, looking out over Ankara, from the top of the citadel.

A beautiful view of the afternoon sun from the walls of the citadel.

After visiting Ankara for two days, we drove south towards Cappadocia. We stopped briefly at Tuz Gölü (Salt Lake) to stretch our legs. While the lake wasn't quite what we expected, it did make for some interesting photos.

People walking atop the salt lake.

A yoga pose at the salt lake.

And then we were off to Cappadocia, the land of the magical fairy chimneys...


  1. It looks like you are walking (or yogaing) on water! What strikes me the most on this one is the weather, I always pictured Turkey as hot all the time and everywhere. Shows you how much I know! :)

    1. Haha--the Salt Lake enabled us to be Jesus-like for a short while. :)

      Turkey definitely ain't hot all the time. We are currently in the warmer part of Turkey (in the southwest), and just yesterday we noticed a fresh dusting of snow atop the mountain peaks. And it definitely ain't warm in northern Turkey right now. For what it's worth, Chicago and Istanbul are at roughly the same latitudes (41 degrees north).

    2. A little perspective goes a long way! Thanks that helped a lot!

  2. It looks like you are the only people there in some of those pics!! I like the one of you looking out over the city.

    1. Thanks, Kelly. Unfortunately, we weren't ever the only ones there. That would have been sweet though!


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