As Some of you know Turkey is a diverse city, which has a part in Asia and a part in Europe. The waterway of the Bosporus split the two continents. The Asian part is known as Anatolia

Istanbul was formerly known as Constantinople. In the Byzantine time. It is a big city with 15.4 million people. Most of Turkey is in Europe, and it’s located between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, which makes it one of the most famous cities in history 

The other attraction to Turkey is The Hague, Sophie which was built as a church in the sixth century.  and the Blue Mosque with is currently undergoing renovations

 October 5, 2022

 I was picked up at the airport by the Wingbulbuddy representative and taken to our starting hotel  Port Bosphorus which is close to the port where the ships come in. And there are a lot of restaurants and shops. I took the tram which was $1.25 to the Sultanahmet stop, which is steps from the Blue Mosque and the Hague Sofia. As it was part of the group trip I just walked around taking in the sites

On the way back to the Hotel I got off the tram at EMIMONU which is close to the Galata bridge and also the Galata Tower. It was interesting to see people fishing off the bridge and there are restaurants below with shops.

Galata Bridge

October 6, 2022

 As I did not have to meet the group until this evening, I went to the Kilic Ali Pasa Hamani which was a five-minute walk from the hotel and quite lovely inside. It’s an old well kept place that is part of a mosque It was beautiful inside with arches and marble.  I had never been to a hamam before and did not know what to expect. It was an amazing experience, how they scrub you is methodical and quite the experience it’s like a massage at the same time. And I’ve never seen so many bubbles. It was amazing and you feel relaxed. It was the most amazing thing in there. There’s no clock and you just take your time and leave when you are ready. The cost was about 950 Turkish Lira which is about $69 Canadian and that’s quite the deal considering how a massager is over $100 back home. After this experience I went back to the hotel, to get ready for my next adventure of the day.

From the Galata Port bridge and I took the Turyol Tour company boat which does a 90-minute boat cruise of the Bosphorus with commentary. It was 75 Turkish Lira a round trip which is about $5.50 Canadian. 

 It was nice being on the boat as you see the European Side and the Asian part and back to the port. When I got back to the port. I made my way to the Galata Tower which you can see from the bridge. 

That’s about a 10-minute walk from there. You go up to the very top and it’s  175  Turkish Lira about $ 13 Canadian to get in and what view you get from the tower. The Galata Tower is now a museum but it did have military importance in the past as well as being a prison.

 Walking back down the hill I was hungry and had a fresh fish wrap it was delicious.  The cost at $2 or $3 Canadian they make it in front of you. They peel, scale, and cook the fish in front of you It was great. 

 Later in the day and I met my group and some of us went for dinner after dinner at the Galata Bridge. Quite interesting to experience the fishing crowds from above fishing while you eat below.

Cruising the Bosphorusone . One part is Europe and the other part is Asia

October 7,2022

This was a long day with an early start. It was a lovely day. The first stop was Topkapi Palace, which was the Imperial residence of the Sultan. Today it’s a museum with gold walls, gold ceilings, porcelain and China, and the famous diamond which is 64 carats. It’s lovely. 

You also have a great view of the Bosphorus and its well-manicured landscape. 

 The second stop was the Hippodrome of Constantinople, which is part of the Byzantine era.  It’s the area between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.

it has two towers and one of them has Egyptian writing on it.

 Next off to the Spice Market also known as Misir Carsisi very colorful and the architecture inside is quite amazing. 

The next stop after that was the Rustem Pasha Mosque inside the Spice Market as the Blue Mosque is under renovation and closed Fridays (this is a new thing) This mosque has blue tiles and its beautiful inside 

 Next was the Basilica Cistern which is underground and it’s across from The Hague Sophie and the Blue Mosque. It was used as water well for Constantinople. It was beautiful there.  The architecture just to store water is unbelievable 

 The next stop was the Grand Bazaar which is lovely. He didn’t get much time in here but the architect again is lovely. It’s like the Spice Market. 

The next stop was Hague, Sophie, and all I can say is the ceilings are 54 meters and it was built as a church and converted into to a mosque. It’s a must-see. I was in awe

October 8 ,2022

We had an eight o’clock start today driving towards Canakkale which was about a four-and-a-half-hour drive.  En route in we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. We had stuffed eggplant and it was most delicious, then to the Gallipoli where the Ottoman Empire military victories were in 1913. It was with the Australians, and the British and New Zealand and it’s also known as the Anzac war.

they were fighting each other from the trenches about five feet apart, but they’d save each other. 

From there we drove to the ferry dock and took the ferry to Canakkale which is on the south side of Turkey on the Asian side.  It was a 20-minute ferry ride over and then a bus to our hotel which again was by the water It was great.  we stayed at the Akol hotel which is lovely. 

  October 9, 2022

 Another early start to the day heading towards Izmir   Before arriving in Izmir we stopped in Troy. As some of you know the movie Troy is an ancient Greek city famous for the Trojan War, the wooden horse, used in the movie is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Troy is considered to be in the western part of Turkey

The second stop on the way to Izmir was Pergamon. It has an impressive archaeological site very much like Greece

We got to our hotel in Izmir the EGE Palas and had dinner in the rooftop restaurant and then a walk on the boardwalk which was full of people mostly the young enjoying the space

 Tomorrow Ephesus

October 10 ,2022

We started a trip to Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary.  at nine o’clock. It’s a one-hour drive to the ruins of Ephesus, which is the third largest in the world and only 10% of it has been uncovered. It is from the Roman times It was a large trading center and Business Center. I can say how amazing it was.  If you have been to Petra in Jordan, it looks like you’re in Petra. But Petra has solid rocks. And this is s not as solid as that but it’s still amazing. 

 After Lunch at Lunch at Selcuck kofteciisi, we were off to the House of the Virgin Mary. You can take pictures outside but you can’t take pictures inside the little chapel. The outside of the Virgin Mary reminds me of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel because you can put pictures and notes of your wishes on the wall by the church Then it was off to Artemission which is part of Ephesus, but on the hill. This temple is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and its earthquake-proof. 

Then we were back to our hotel. Some of us took the trip to the Kizlargasi Han bazaar by taxi it was 52 liras. It was quite a nice Bazaar Dinner on the rooftop of our hotel. And then once again Dinner was delicious. was stuffed chicken with stuffed chicken rice.


October 11,2022

This is another long day we were driven from Izmir to Antalya 

with a stop at the Pamukkale

Again, the Pamukkale has Roman ruins that leave you in awe complete with a musical theater.  

The Pamukkale terrace is a formation of calcium because the water has so much calcium mineral in it that gives it the white color, and the yellow color you see from the sulfur. It was amazing and the water was warm, and it is considered therapeutic. You can walk along the edges and step in the water. 

They also have a hot spring that you can swim in. You can get a ticket for the day if you want. Pamukkale cotton means cotton castle in Turkish. 

Antalya is known for its greenhouses and they grow a lot of apples

 October 12, 2022

We start at nine o’clock and headed to Perge which is an outside Archaeological Museum. Once again, it did not disappoint. 

The borders are eight miles around including the hill it was built in Roman times and they are restoring parts of it.

  Next, we went to the Aspendos which has the biggest amphitheater that was built in Roman times with the best acoustics in the second century. This amphitheater is still used for concerts today.  

Our third stop Anatolia archeology Archaeological Museum it had a lot of statues and coins 

October 13,2022

This is a long day the drive from Antalya to Cappadocia took almost 10 hours with a few stops. The land is barren compared to the other drives that we’ve taken.

We stopped for lunch and had the equivalent of a Turkish pizza. The crust is very thin and it’s called etliekmo is a meat version of it and was very good

 the next stop was the Sultanahmet Caravanserai. This is where the caravans used to stop in the 13th century and it was one of the largest. Once again, the architecture is just amazing. And they now have carpet displayed on some of the arches. And I can tell you that it was a great experience for me because some girls just stopped me and wanted to take my picture. Then handed me a picture she had sketched of me while in the Sultanahmet. It was lovely. 

Our next up was the Pigeon Valley in Cappadocia this again was unbelievable. The houses that were carved into the rocks with the split chimneys and this is also known as the fairy chimneys. Tomorrow morning, we go hot air ballooning which has been one of the highlights for me.

 October 14,2022

The pickup time for hot air ballooning was 0530 by the THK company We were driven to the site.  When we arrived, they were blowing up the hot air balloons. Then we were up in the air for sunrise. It was amazing to see all the balloons in the air and to see some of the balloons going in between the chimney rocks When you land or almost ready to land. They pulled the strings and you land on a flatbread truck Then some alcohol-free champagne to celebrate the morning

We’re back to the hotel for breakfast and the first stop after that was Gorme which is one of the cities in Cappadocia walked around. And this has some open churches. Because these are inside the rocks, they still have some of the ink on the wall this reminds me of when you went to Egypt and some of the other places where they have the ink still written on the wall like its brand new but it’s old and 

The architecture is just amazing. They form what is called fairy cliffs and hill from erosion over time.

One of the very chimneys is called the blue church because it’s a little blue on the outside and it’s blue on the inside. 

 the second town was called Pregman, And the third town we stopped at was an underground city. It was very narrow and you almost have to crawl through it. Apparently, people were smaller back then, and a lot of people live in these underground cities. They did not have to come out of the cities because they had everything that they needed in their cities for 24 hours.   This underground city ran 20 miles the city ran. It was amazing. 

Next, we stopped at a carpet place with some lovely handmade Turkish carpets

Hot air ballooning
Fairy chimney’s and homes built into the rock (people are not allowed to to live in this homes now)


October 15 ,2022

 We had an early start to our trip to Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Most think the capital of Turkey is Istanbul but it’s not. We passed the Salt Lake and stopped for an opportunity to walk on the Salt Lake.  As its considered dry season, the lake has receded, because of this, we were able to walk out a fair. distance. The water will return with the rainy season. Turkey harvest much of its salt from this lake.     After this short stop, we were back on the road with a stop at the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk.  who was the founder of the modern Turkish republic but unfortunately died of cirrhosis at the age of 50. We saw the changing of the guards and The Tomb Mausoleum. The area is large and reminds me of being in the Washington monument area


October 16, 2022

After arriving back in Istanbul, it was time for some last-minute shopping