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
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
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
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/tour 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
After 3+ months of bouncing around Europe, it was finally time to head eastward to Turkey. Istanbul would be our first stop in the country we’ve always wanted to see and heard so much about – “here, Europe meets Asia”, “East meets West”, etc.. Continue reading
The last country on our Eastern/Central Europe tour was Slovenia. Aside from knowing the capital (but not necessarily how to spell it correctly), we really didn’t know much else about the 2-million strong nation. But Slovenia made a very positive impression straight out of the shoot. Driving to Ljubljana was a combination of highway and departamental roads, the latter taking us through a beautiful and diverse countryside with dense forests, superflous mountains and cute little towns (reminiscent of Switzerland and Austria). Continue reading
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 succint advice only elevated them to a higher degree. Continue reading
It was about 6 hours to our next destination (Makarska), a combo of highway and national road driving. E65 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
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
We planned for a 1-night stop over in Belgrade but due to delinquent planning (on my part), we ended up with an extra night. And we couldn’t have been happier!
Belgrade, the Serbian capital sits in the north of the country right at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers. Continue reading