The Turkey Experience: From Efes to Istanbul

The ferry arrives just after 11am in the morning. 
We are in Çeşme, have officially made it through the Greek-Turkish border.

Let's see if we can figure out the way towards Selçuk. 

We pass the harbor and a giant unicorn welcomes us. 
It's crazy how you can notice the economic difference between Greece and Turkey.

While the island of Chios was suffering, here in Turkey you can see all the money in the form of sailboats.
Probably some bankers and business men coming here on the weekends.

 

The ancient monument of Ephesus is breath taking. 
It once was an ancient Greek city, built in the 10th century BC.
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation.
The apostle Paul lived in Ephesus and a legend purported that Mary may have spent the last years of her life here.
City of the Seven Sleepers where people were persecuted because of their monotheistic belief in God.

 

 

I can't believe my eyes when I see a wedding happening here.
How magical is this? I'm speechless.

 

 

Standing completely in awe, looking across the theatre.
I wonder around for hours, the sun is burning down on my skin.

 

 

Later I catch a horse carriage back to the city where I watch an amazing sunset. Life is good.

 

 

Eventually it's time to catch the bus up north towards Bergama.
On my way to the local bus station I wander through a local market.

This makes me really happy, I love how people buy fresh vegetable.
I imagine the women standing in the kitchen preparing dishes for their families. 

 

 

The bus ride is amazing. 
I'm sitting next to the driver up front. 

Our road trip goes for 7 hours or so.
I'm looking at all the mosques in awe.
Every little village we pass has one.

 

 

Bergama is green and lovely. 
A very kind taxi driver tells me about the guesthouse of his friend.

I'm welcomed with Turkish tea and some snacks.
Water sprinkles in the fountain.

 

 

The next day a Turkey guy, maybe 36 years old, stops by the guesthouse. 
He says that he takes tourists around the area sometimes, free of charge.

He's Gemini and like chatting with people - and I'm delighted to go on an adventure with him.

He takes me in the mountains, we stop at his favorite Sunday cafe.
This is a place only locals know, no tourists around. 
The air is clear and I can't believe I'm right here in Turkey, drinking real Turkish afternoon tea.
We talk about everything and share experiences from two different places in the world.

 

 

We drive further towards the Sea. Can I just say how lucky I feel for this private tour?
Some may like to lay on the beach in Bodrum or Side. 
I'm grateful for this experience right here.

 

 

This is a place where Turkish families come.
People who live by the beach and who can come here every day in their life.

 

 

A few days later, I arrive in the harbor town of Bandırma where I spend one night.
It's a lovely small town where fishermen live.

The sea gulls call this paradise.

 

 

I get lost again, just casually standing on traffic lights, watching the joy in children's eyes.

 

 

A place where chicken rock behind discotheques.

 

 

A place where grandmas dry the laundry outside over the street.

 

 

Another ferry has brings me from Bandırma to Istanbul. 
I've heard so many stories about the city on the Balkan, the Bosporus. 
And now I am here, standing in front of the big mosque, running into the second wedding.
What has this suppose to mean? Must be some very romantic vibes here in Turkey.

 

 

The Bosporus is rough. Masses of tourists take the obligatory cruise on the Bosporus.
I skip the crowd and catch the wind from the shore.

 

 

I give up to counting my steps. 
How much you can experience in one single day!

Then I bump into some sparkly bubbles.

 

 

Turkey, you are so beautiful.

 

 

I will watch you from afar.

 

 

Question: Have you been to Turkey? Where? What are your thought on its culture?

 

Best wishes,
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22 comments

  1. This looks like an amazing journey! I’ve only been to the airport for a crazy long layover, but I would love to discover Turkey!
    I don’t like traveling into countries with dictatorship though, so I guess I’ll have to wait a few years 🙁
    Your photos are stunning!

  2. I haven’t made it to turkey yet but the places you visited look stunning. I certainly want to visit the ruins in Ephesus and also do a cruise and visit some mosques. Hopefully I will get to visit soon 🙂

  3. I love Turkey is one of my favorite places to travel too, especially Ephesus. That place just takes your breathaway. It is a shame that the country has been getting such a bad wrap. Glad to see someone write some nice things about the place for a change. Great pictures by the way too.

  4. Loved! Loved!! Loved!! Your post for the details of course, but more so for the way it is written. A personal monologue or a poem in disguise, it reads beautifully and I love how you jump from the history to the present and from the modern to the past. Also loved your photos, they are so natural covering every day life, the people, brilliant!

    1. Aww Raghav, you have no idea what your kind words mean to me. Discovering writing in all its merits is such an exiting and challenging journey! Have a great weekend!

  5. We had the pleasure of visiting Turkey in 2015. What a surprise it was!! The people were as warm as they could be. The food was fantastic and everywhere there was history and art and fantastic things to see and experience. It was hotter than I could imagine in Ephesus the day we were there, but it didn’t hamper the feeling of amazement we had at so much history in one spot. Loved walking through the streets where others had gone so long before us. What a lovely spot for wedding photos! How exciting to get a peek into real life there!

  6. Woah, those guys picked a pretty special place for a wedding indeed! You caught a lovely moment (and I’m loving the pictures in this post, v. candid!) I’ve not been to Turkey yet, but it feels like I’m travelling with you through this blog post – the little details make it so full of live. Great job.

  7. No I haven’t been to Turkey but I’m hoping to get there in 2019. I loved your stories and how cool you bumped into two weddings. Any harbour with a unicorn is a winner in my book! I love Turkish cuisine and The Hubs is a big fan of the local brew Efes. Bring on 2019 I say!

  8. i’ve never been to turkey. heck, i’ve never really explored other countries aside from china. my childhood traveling were all about china, hong kong and macau because my parents — mostly my father — is super biased about mainland china. i hate china but i love hk and macau; i wish i spent more time in hk and macau than in china. now, traveling is a problem for me because i don’t have the budget for it. i hope someday i can explore the world, mark the places i’ve visited on the world map and maybe visit greece and turkey too. greece is one of those places i’m so curious about, just because i wanna learn more about greek mythology along the way. i’d love to binge eat on kebab if i get to visit turkey someday too, haha

    Mlkbox

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