Last week classes started back up at Koç after a long and relaxing 10-day break :). As I had mentioned in my previous post, my friend Keelia and I planned to go to a couple of different places in Turkey during the break; we actually had two other CIEE friends join us, Avery and Jordan.
Our adventures began with an overnight bus from Istanbul to Izmir, and as soon as we arrived in Izmir, Keelia and I decided to go exploring and ended up seeing some ruins at Agora and meeting some other exchange students from our school in Istanbul!
We met up with our friends for dinner that night and the next day we all left for Selçuk together in the afternoon. Out of all the places we visited, I have to say Selçuk had the best atmosphere and it was very relaxing and peaceful. We stayed there for two days and visited The House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus. We also went to a small village called Şirince, where we bought fruit wine and had a nice dinner.
After Selçuk we went to Pamukkale for another 2 days. Pamukkale is breathtaking, there is a natural park where there are pools of water by travertines and it basically looks like snow but it’s way cooler. We also had the chance to see the ruins of Hierapolis which are right where the park is and that was very beautiful. Oh, and we ended up having dinner at a Japanese restaurant both nights we were there – don’t ask why haha but it was an interesting experience and probably the best Asian food I’ve had in my life. The place was run entirely by a Japanese woman and she’s the cook, server, everything. Very cool.
After Pamukkale, we traveled to our final destination: beachy Bodrum! Bodrum is in the southwest of Turkey and it’s a tourist destination mainly in the summer. We ran into some rainy/cloudy weather the first two days but our last day there it was beautiful and sunny! We visited a castle there that now houses and underwater archaeology museum and we also spent some time at the beach and met up with our other friend, Tyler, who had traveled down for the break on a scuba diving trip in Marmaris. Our last day there, Keelia and I decided to go to a hamam – or Turkish bath and that was a nice way to end our break and relax before our flight back to Istanbul that night!
Turkey is a beautiful country and there is way to much to see here – my Dad and I were talking the other day and came to the conclusion that the whole country should be a museum! I am so happy I had the chance to visit these places and that our trip went so smoothly – I was really nervous as I have never really gone backpacking or done much independent traveling within a country. It was an experience I’ll never forget! Alrighty, I have to go back to reality (aka homework and the real world) but I hope you like the pictures and they make you want to visit Turkey! (You really should because it’s awesome.)