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Happy Thanksgiving

TURKEY | Friday, 28 November 2008 | Views [3922]

So my first blog crashed so here we go again...

Hello from Kaş, Turkey. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. You were all missed.

Backing up a few days....

Nov 16th: Crossed the Syrian/Turkey border in a vehicle smuggling duty-free booze into Turkey. But we made it into Antakya safely and could see the difference between Syria and Turkey immediately. Not all women were covered in black cloths and saw very few head scarfs. And the girls and I did not receive nearly as much as attention as usual. It was possible and somewhat normal for Megan and I to go running in the morning. Also, went to a pub for the first time since Athens.

Nov 17th: Traveled across the southern part of Turkey, seeing the snow-capped Aladaylur mountains and through an environment similar to the Cascades to the town of Nigde. Had some killer Turkish food, pide, lamb and rice, and went for a walk with some locals. The boys in the Middle East and Turkey are much more upfront about their desires and are not as afraid as rejection as American boys. Flattering, sometimes, annoying, nearly always.

Nov 18: Sick. Bad case of traveler's diarrhea (just what you wanted to know, right?) but enjoyed the journey from the fetal position in the back of the van. Went for a stroll though the gorgeous, fall-stricken Ihlara Valley (picture below). Hiked in a gorge next to a river full of fish and FROGS, with churches carved out of the adjacent cliff walls. Reminded me of the Columbia Gorge, specifically Vantage. Ate some local Turkish trout on the river and sipped on apple tea/cider. After lunch we ventured into the underground city of Derinkuyu. Very very cool. I felt like we were in the Mines of Moria (LOTR reference).

Nov 19-21: In Cappadocia staying in the little cozy town of Goerme. Very lush fall colors and the air filled with chimney smoke. This town has very unique geology and many of the rock cave-houses look like some fairy-land. Made the local bar our hang-out and hiked though the Love Valley (hehehe, see picture below) Pigeon Valley and Rose Valley. The M's and me said goodbye to our fellow Intrepid travelers here. Oh, and randomly ran into a friend we had met in Cairo about a month before whom we had also ran into while we were in Damascus. Very small world.

Nov 22-25: Took an overnight bus to the pretty port town, Antayla. Here Marshall and I went to a futbol game, the turks are CRAZY about soccer, and we found a Starbucks! I have never been so happy to see that familar mermaid. Finally, real coffee! I am sick of the Nescafe crap that has been served to us throughout the trip.

After Antayla, we went to Olympos a crazy party town in the summer but things have since shut down and there were literally NO other travelers here so we took some time to relax. Stayed in these super nice and cute bungalows for the half the normal price, bouldered, relaxed on the beach, explored the vast ruins (there are no barrıers so we can truly explore every crook and cranny) went swimming in the Mediterranean, hiked, played with a man's illegal pet monkey, and read. Life is good.

Nov 26-Nov 28: Still along the Mediterranean coast but now in the town of Kaş. It's about 80 degrees and sunny. On Thanksgiving day, Megan, Monica and I went for a hike on the Lycian Way that led us through groves of olives, past goats and tiny farms and crumbly ancient walls, crystal blue and white beaches, and rocky outcrops. Part of the trail got a little hairy so there was a supporting rope attached via an ancient tomb. So many ruins here, they get little regard. Went to a nice restaurant for Thanksgiving and topped the evening off with a funky NYC style jazz bar. Went to the local farmer's market this morning and explored the town. Oh, and I had turkey in Turkey on Thanksgiving. Granted it was lunch meat turkey but turkey none-the-less. My life is nearly complete now.


NB: It was odd being in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving and then realized that the majority of the world doesn't celebrate this holiday that is so important to everyone I know in the states.

Headed to Istanbul tonight via overnight bus and Marshall and I are staying with a couch surfer who is nice enough to pick us up from the bus station at 6:30 in the morning.

Missing everyone oodles and am looking forward to the comforts of home and the holiday season.

p.s. I am sad I missed Thanksgiving, thankful I am missing 'Black Friday'.

Tags: cappadocia, ihlara valley, kas, olympos, thanksgiving, turkey


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