Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace


This is one of the touristy spots Alex and I made sure to check out during our trip (that and the Hagia Sophia–can’t miss that!) I don’t remember much of the history behind Topkapi Palace since it’s been 2 months now since we were there (yeah, I know. I’m falling behind!) You can, however, click on the link above to find  nifty site with tons of info!

Let’s start with some pictures right outside the palace.

 

A Turkish Guard!!! (Notice his cool knife and scabbard–I got a small one for one of my best friends =] )

The Entrance

Gardens Inside (there were cats running around ^.^)

 

Everything was ornamented beautifully with gold and intricate patterns.

 

I think this may have been the room where Ottoman Sultans received guests (kind of like court, for business.)

 

I was thoroughly impressed by the ceilings O=]

 

This just looked cool…

 

The palace was full of beautiful gardens tourists walked through to go from building to building.

 

There was a reaaaaally long line to get into this place. I don’t remember what the chambers were used for but the whole place was like a museum. There were cases inside the walls with old memorabilia for people to look at: intricately decorated weapons, books…

 

This terrace was beautiful and so sunny. It felt really nice just relaxing outside!

 

 

I love how graceful these arches look. Turkish architecture is just gorgeous!

 

The blue and gold is such a great color pairing ^^

 

We took one last picture inside the garden (and played with a cute, friendly kitty!) before heading out.

 

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Istanbul!!


Istanbul was amazing!! I forgot to take pictures of the Grand Bazaar (a must-see!!) and the hamam (public baths), but I did get a few shots of local sights =]

This aqueduct was real close to where we stayed.

The Blue Mosque

I didn’t get the names of these next structures. Walked by them on my way to the Grand Bazaar one morning.

One of the shops we slipped into for a snack had some amazing, yummy sweets! =3

One last monument pic for the road!

Wandering Around Selçuk


Selçuk is the city we stayed at in Ephesus. It was such a nice little town ^^ There were some beautiful ruins, several merchant streets full of cool shops and delicious food =3 Plus, our hosts were just amazing. I think we found the sweetest guys in town!

This cutie pie is Zuzu! I stopped to pet her and ended up making friends with the shop owner. One of the amazing things about Turkey is that everyone is so incredibly nice (and not in that “I’m being nice to you so you’ll buy my wares and then you can be off on your way” kind of nice… they’re very genuine, friendly people!)

I found a turtle while Alex and I were walking around looking at ruins!

I took a lot of pictures of cute homes and hotels in Turkey too O=] I wanted to remember the quaint, almost French feel of it. I can’t quite pin it down, but it reminded me, not of Paris, but of the French countryside just a little bit.

I loved the way the vines formed a thin canopy up above our heads!

Just like the one pictured below, most of the neat buildings we encountered were hotels/bed & breakfasts or restaurants.

So colorful!

Alex really liked this place….

We came back to this place for dinner later that day! The lady just seemed so sweet, and she was so happy (maybe a little surprised?) when we came back!

Below is the tall, white building inside the wall. You can sort of see it on the right side of the picture above…

There was a street called “Love Street” in downtown Selçuk. Cute, huh?!

We found this fountain nearby (if I remember correctly! It’s been a month but I took so many pictures I’m still posting the ones from Turkey and editing the ones from Hong Kong ><‘)

And now for dinner pictures =3 These were grape leaves wrapped around rice and all sorts of yummy ingredients. Yum!!

Om nom nom =3

If you ever go to Turkey, you must try the yogurt drink!

I don’t quite remember what the yellow stuff was …. but click on the picture for a larger view.

The restaurant was so beautiful at night =] And there was almost no one else there for a bit! Everyone started showing up around 9pm.

There was even a hookah lounge in there!

Alex is a pro…

Great note to end the night on! =]

Pamukkale’s Wondrous Salt Pools


Yup, I visited a World Heritage Site! Beautiful, isn’t it? =]

This first picture was taken from the balcony of a restaurant we ate lunch at right across from the salt pools. The food was so good and the host really sweet!

This next one I actually took from the top of the salt pools themselves. The height offered a great view of the surrounding area =]

They make everyone take off their shoes before climbing up to keep the area clean and pristine…

Time for a dip in the salt pools!

Can you believe I slipped and cut my foot in one of the pools! The salt makes it so slimy… ><‘

The Ancient Greek City of Ephesus


We stopped to check these ruins out on our way to the ruins of Ephesus, an ancient Greek city. I don’t remember what this place was called but hopefully Alex does–I’ll see if I can get him to post it in the comments O=]

We found this cool casket in the ruins, like a fancy cemetary!

Ephesus, the ruins of the ancient Greek city

First thing we saw upon entering the ruins (they’re gated off like a big park) was this huge coliseum off to the side. We followed the throng of people ahead of us there…

All the ruins inside the park were just gorgeous! It felt like I was walking around a piece of history. It was all worn down… and felt very mysterious. I guess it made me wonder who the people who used to live there were, how they lived, what they did…

There were a few short tunnels here and there!

Pretty, huh? ^^

New Facebook profile picture!

There were tons of cute kitties running all over the place =3

More pictures from my travels here!

 

Ephesus, One of the Most Beautiful Places in Turkey (and in the World!)


The hotel we stayed at, Urkmez Hotel, was just gorgeous!

What better way to start the Turkish leg of our trip than with some yummy food =] This place right next to our hotel had amazing food! =3

We found some gorgeous ruins walking near our hotel!