Day 114 – 116: Bodrum (Turkey) & Kos (Greece)

With 3 remaining days in Bodrum, we decided to make the best of the area. Turkish and Greek islands galore, boat tours galore, sun and sea galore is what we had at our disposal.

On day one we signed up for a local boat tour (10 people max), which took us around the nearby Turkish islands exploring different bays and taking in plenty of sun. Continue reading Day 114 – 116: Bodrum (Turkey) & Kos (Greece)

Day 112 – 113: Ephesus & St. Peter’s Castle (Bodrum)

The next stop on our tour was Ephesus, an ancient Greek city that’s situated in the Izmir province of Turkey (on the western coast). The city retained its prominence during Roman times and became its capital in the East (or Asia Minor). But eventually Ephesus saw its destruction at the hands of invaders coupled with an earthquake in the 7th century AD. In its prime, Ephesus was home to a whopping population of 250,000 and also home to the Temple of Artemis (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world). Continue reading Day 112 – 113: Ephesus & St. Peter’s Castle (Bodrum)

Day 109 – 111: Cappadocia (Turkey)

Our next destination in Turkey was Cappadocia, the central and ancient region of the country. Cappadocia is derived from Katpatukya which means “land of beautiful horses” in an ancient Persian language. This was also one of Brigitte’s “Must See” points on our trip. And for the first time on our journey we joined a tour (as well as for the remaining part of our Turkey trip). We figured this would free us from much planning and also give us a deeper perspective on a country of numerous wonders. Continue reading Day 109 – 111: Cappadocia (Turkey)

Day 106 – 107: Istanbul – Part 2 (Turkey)

Having covered some of the main attractions on our first day, we decided to explore another one of Istanbul’s many faces on day two. The Bosphorus river cruise was recommended not only by friends but also every guidebook we looked at. It’s a great way to see more of the city that ostensibly continues to expand beyond its boundaries. Continue reading Day 106 – 107: Istanbul – Part 2 (Turkey)

Day 98 – 100: Ljubljana, Bled & Postonja Cave (Slovenia)

The last country on our Eastern/Central Europe tour was Slovenia. Aside from knowing the name of the capital (but not necessarily how to spell it correctly), we really didn’t know much else about the 2-million strong nation. That said, Slovenia made a very positive impression straight out of the shoot. Driving to Ljubljana was a combination of highway and departmental roads, the latter taking us through a beautiful and diverse countryside with dense forests, superfluous mountains and cute little towns (reminiscent of Switzerland and Austria). Continue reading Day 98 – 100: Ljubljana, Bled & Postonja Cave (Slovenia)

Day 94 – 97: Dubrovnik & Zadar (Croatia)

I’ve known my friend Tony for about 14 years and one of the most accurate and honest things he ever told me was “get ready to be wowed”! This of course was in reference to visiting Dubrovnik. Tony is Croatian (naturally), so he compiled a comprehensive list of To Do & To See Croatia for us. Our expectations of the old city were A-grade and Tony’s succinct advice only elevated them to a higher degree. Continue reading Day 94 – 97: Dubrovnik & Zadar (Croatia)

Day 91 – 93: Makarska & Hvar Island (Croatia)

It was about 6 hours to our next destination (Makarska), a combo of highway and national road driving. The E65 (aka the Adriatic Highway), is the coastal road that runs down to Croatia’s most southern point and offers hours of viewing pleasure. Undulating around the rugged limestone coast, we drove by myriads of towns lining up the beachfront. And it was in one of these little towns that we paused for lunch, followed by an irresistible dip in the water. The arid landscape reminded us of southern France and the calanques, not to mention the vegetation. Continue reading Day 91 – 93: Makarska & Hvar Island (Croatia)

Day 89 – 91: Rovinj & Pula (Istria – Croatia)

Driving directly west past Zagreb into Croatia was fairly uneventful – the road was long and straight and the landscape was flat. But all that changed right as we approached Istria, the grand peninsula prominently protruding into the Adriatic Sea. Mountains appeared all around us and the highway turned and twisted along through numerous tunnels. Continue reading Day 89 – 91: Rovinj & Pula (Istria – Croatia)