More on my Sabbatical adventures…I vow to have ALL my travel posts completed by the end of 2015! More coming soon from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Hawaii!!
I could have spent months in Istanbul, and I wouldn’t have even scratched the surface of seeing it all. It was such a unique spot, being the only city in the world split between two continents – Europe & Asia. Some of my favorites from this city included: the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Cistern, Galata Tower, Beyoglu neighborhood, Sultanahmet, turkish tea & baklava, simit (sesame bread rings), lentil soup, kebaps, Turkish ice cream, and of course the Grand Bazaar.
The Grand Bazaar is the world’s first financial center and one of the oldest commercial shopping markets. It has 22 gates to enter its 45,000 square meters of shopping craziness! It is the largest covered market in the world, has 64 thoroughfares and streets, employees over 20,000 people, and it attracts almost half a million tourists daily!
The Grand Bazaar was the hub of shopping, commerce, science, and art during the Ottoman Empire. While the Empire was ruled from Topkapi Palace, the Ottoman economy was administered from the Grand Bazaar! Other incredible feats have happened at the Bazaar…namely, Blondie managing to get everyone inside to walk backwards!
One of my favorite moments of life to date happened in this awesome country. More specifically, Cappadocia, Turkey! We woke up at 3AM to fly high above the earth in a hot air balloon as the sun rose over the horizon. I don’t have enough adjectives to describe the pure splendor of this moment, and I have since learned how special it was as many people who have traveled to Cappadocia haven’t been able to experience the flight due to high winds.
We made friends with Kinjal and Viral, the newlyweds from Mumbai. We exchanged stories about all things Indian and American. Note to self, book a flight to India! These two were so much fun, and Kinjal and I even got in the kitchen at our CAVE HOTEL (incredible) to cook up a vegetarian meal.
Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish, and it is a massive hot springs that has created shelves, platforms, and terraces of white minerals that look like ice!
The incredible Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul:
And if that wasn’t enough picture overload for you, click HERE to see ALL the Turkey travel adventure pics!
Still didn’t get enough of Turkey? See our super fun video [that I cannot take credit for] HERE!