Istanbul's tranquil Süleymaniye Mosque

Istanbul’s tranquil Süleymaniye Mosque

A couple of years ago I got to travel through Turkey and was fascinated by all the beautiful mosques of Istanbul. I went on a mosque hunt through the city and got to see some amazing mosques. The Süleymaniye Mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul, and definitely one of the best-known sights of Istanbul. I got there late the afternoon and by the time I … Continue reading Istanbul’s tranquil Süleymaniye Mosque

Cappadocia in Turkey

The number ONE way to experience Cappadocia

I am absolutely terrified of heights and looking over the edge of a mountain scares me to no end. But I do believe that, once a year, I should do something that scares the hell out of me. When I read about taking a hot-air balloon and drifting across the beautiful landscape of Cappadocia in Turkey, I decided that this would be my brave thing … Continue reading The number ONE way to experience Cappadocia

The largest outdoor theater of the Ancient World

The largest outdoor theater of the Ancient World

Ephesus which was established as a port, used to be the most important commercial or trade centre of the ancient world due to its very fertile valley and its strategic location. It was definitely a magnificent city during its prime and was filled with many important structures. The city was not only famed for the Temple of Artemis or the Library of Celsus but also for its theater which … Continue reading The largest outdoor theater of the Ancient World

Temple of Hadrian

The remains of the Temple of Hadrian

Another treasure to be found at Ephesus is the remains of the Temple of Hadrian. It is quite spectacular that any of this beautiful temple has survived through the destructive history of what once was a magnificent city. An inscription shows that the Temple of Hadrian  was erected around 118 AD but underwent repairs in the 4th century and has been re-erected from surviving fragments. The facade of … Continue reading The remains of the Temple of Hadrian

Library of Celsus in Ephesus

The Library of Celsus in Ephesus

One of the most recognized and most famous buildings of the ancient city of Ephesis is the Library of Celsus. Before traveling to Turkey and reading up on the history of this ancient city I admit that I thought this Library was the most significant part of Ephesus. I quickly learned that it is the one structure that is most in tact although other buildings like … Continue reading The Library of Celsus in Ephesus

Memmius Monument

Ephesus home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

When visiting Ephesus in Turkey I was greeted by the remains of a magnificent ancient culture and people of which today nearly nothing remains. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometers southwest of present-day Selçuk. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former  Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. According to myth the founder of Ephesus was a prince of Athens named Androklos, who … Continue reading Ephesus home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The wishing wall

Visiting the House of the Virgin Mary

The best way to start your adventure in Ephesus is with a little history on the area and by visiting the Church or House of the Virgin Mary. It is not just a religious site but also a big part of the history of the area and a very interesting and beautiful place to visit. The House of Virgin Mary is located on the top of Mt. Koressos, “Mount … Continue reading Visiting the House of the Virgin Mary

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, Turkeys’ Church-turned-Mosque

Turkey is one of those countries which has changed identity and cultures so many times that it has turned into a unique country with a unique culture. Exploring this culture rich country has been one of my most amazing adventures. The beautiful Hagia Sophia, Turkeys’ Church-turned-Mosque served as the principal mosque of Istanbul, then Constantinople, for almost 500 years. If you ever get to visit … Continue reading Hagia Sophia, Turkeys’ Church-turned-Mosque

Topkapi Palace

Holy Banners, courtyards and chambers of Topkapi Palace

Istanbul is filled with so many beautiful and amazing buildings and one of these fabulous buildings is the Topkapi royal palace. I entered the Inner Court of Topkapi Palace through the Gate of Felicity, but it looked more like a grand entrance than a gate. This Inner Courtyard holds the private and residential areas of the palace. In the past no one could have passed through … Continue reading Holy Banners, courtyards and chambers of Topkapi Palace

Beautiful views over the Bosphorus in Turkey

Beautiful views over the Bosphorus in Turkey

Last week a client asked me which country I would recommend for their first abroad adventure and the first place that came to mind was Turkey. It is the perfect mix between European and Asian with its unique culture and magnificent buildings. Istanbul is one of the best cities to get lost in, to explore and to spend a couple of days getting to know the … Continue reading Beautiful views over the Bosphorus in Turkey

Pamukkale

Sparkling White Terraced Hot Springs of Turkey

Pamukkale with its sparkling white castle -like cascades is not only an unusual natural and historical site of Turkey, but is also unique in the world. No wonder this place is on nearly every tourists must-see list while exploring Turkey. I couldn’t wait to see these sparkling terraces for myself when I finally arrived in Pamukkale after a long overnight bus ride from Izmir. The bus … Continue reading Sparkling White Terraced Hot Springs of Turkey

The beautiful Kubbealtı

Marble, Golden balls and Towers of Justice at Topkapi Palace

When I hear “Palace” the picture of a Victorian building comes to mind, a grand building with gilded gold, surrounded by turrets and lots of grandeur. The Topkapi Palace of Istanbul did not disappoint. You can easily spend a couple of hours exploring the Topkapi Palace, home to generations of sultans and their wives, who were closeted in the famous harem. The secretive harem – … Continue reading Marble, Golden balls and Towers of Justice at Topkapi Palace

Bosphorus river cruise

I saw both Europe and Asia from the Bosphorus

Walking through Istanbul I got to experience it in detail but to see the city as a whole I definitely recommend doing the Bosphorus river cruise. It is true that excursions along the shoreline of this magnificent city best reveal the city’s grandeur and other attractions hidden from street view.  A cruise on the Bosphorus is probably the most overlooked Istanbul tourist attraction. This is quite … Continue reading I saw both Europe and Asia from the Bosphorus

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque isn’t Blue?

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, facing Aya Sofya and mirroring its domed silhouette,  is popularly known as the Blue Mosque. It is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. This huge mosque was build to calm God after the unfavorable result of the war with Persia. The mosque was built from 1609 to 1616 on the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, so big … Continue reading The Blue Mosque isn’t Blue?

Interior view of the Hagia Sophia, showing Islamic elements on the top of the main dome.

Exploring the interior of Hagia Sophia, Turkeys’ Church-turned-Mosque

If you ever get to visit Istanbul you have to make a point of exploring Hagia Sofia, the church-turned-mosque. Not only is it unique in this aspect it is also one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture in Turkey. It is one of those places you will have to visit more than once as it is so overwhelming that you cant take everything … Continue reading Exploring the interior of Hagia Sophia, Turkeys’ Church-turned-Mosque

Hagia Sophia, Turkeys' Church-turned-Mosque

Hagia Sophia, Turkeys’ Church-turned-Mosque

Turkey is one of those countries which has changed identity and cultures so many times that it has turned into a unique country with a unique culture. I couldn’t wait to explore this culture rich country and there is no better place to start than in Istanbul, once named Constantinople. After checking into my hotel in the old quarter I immediately found my way over … Continue reading Hagia Sophia, Turkeys’ Church-turned-Mosque

Meeting the rising sun over the valleys and vineyards of Cappadocia

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

The Golden Hour. In photography, the “golden hour” is the first and last hour of sunlight of the day. Photographers venture out on sunrise hikes or sunset treks to capture a magical shot, due to the quality of the light during that time of day. My most memorable “golden hour” moment was while floating in a hot air balloon over the unique rock formations of Cappadocia … Continue reading Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

Travel theme: Pale Ruins

This week’s travel theme from Ailsa is PALE and what is paler than sun bleached ruins? I explored Ephesus while traveling through Turkey a couple of years ago, it was amazing!! The library of Celsus is definitely the most recognizable  ancient Roman building in Ephesus, Turkey. It was built in honor of the Roman Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus  in 177 AD. The library was built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as … Continue reading Travel theme: Pale Ruins