Ah, Turkish Food

It was what probably killed my stomach on the last leg of my trip. That’s ok. I still love you food. I realized that despite being in pain from a peptic ulcer, I couldn’t give up on eating food that I love. If I suddenly become allergic to anything and can’t eat the same way ever again, someone do me a favor and cut my lifeline?

On to the good stuff – Turkish food. On our first night we decided to be adventurous and found a sandwich stand at a random street corner. The smell was alluring and we couldn’t help it. We took a chance on it knowing that one of our friends had prescription medicine with him just in case. It was like when I went to the lunch lady in Vietnam and she nearly killed me, but it was so damn good that I would do it all over again – armed with the right medicine of course. No regrets, that sandwich was delicious and luckily we didn’t die from it.

Here's to not dying on our first night while inhaling a sandwich from the streets of Istanbul

Here’s to not dying on our first night while inhaling a sandwich from the streets of Istanbul

The Turkish breakfast was quite simple actually. Every morning it was pretty much the same spread across all of the different hotels that we stayed at. Turkish breakfast consists of olives, cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, bread and some kind of spread. It was amazing in the beginning until after like the 5th day. I started to crave for your typical American breakfast – eggs and bacon. Real bacon. None of that Canadian bacon business.

Traditional Turkish Breakfast

Traditional Turkish Breakfast

Ah, and no meal is complete without either having a Turkish coffee (crack in a cup) or Turkish tea. Turkish coffee is not filtered like American coffee so it tastes a bit grainy. Just one tiny cup of that and I’m completely wired until the next day.

Turkish Coffee

Turkish Coffee

Turkish Tea - Tastes like lipton tea ;)

Turkish Tea – Tastes like lipton tea 😉

Finally…Shake Shack. Not Turkish, but completely American in Turkey. Tastes just like how the east coasters do it. I originally ordered just one burger with a shroom added to it, but there was some kind of misunderstanding so they gave me two burgers instead. This was right after the Urgent Care visit and I had my meds ready in hand. Plus I was so starving that I just said fuck it…I’m eating this. All two of them. Of course I felt sick afterwards, but oh so worth it.

Shake Shack'n it in Turkey

Shake Shack’n it in Turkey

Meds…Give me meds

Much happier

Giving my friend Jimmy the stink-eye as always

Meds...sweet sweet meds.

Meds…sweet sweet meds.

I feel so much better today but it looks like I’m out of commission on drinking and eating certain types of food for at least a month. Probably better for my liver and health anyways.

It’s our last day here in Istanbul and then it’s enroute back home again. I had such a fun time with some of the most amazing friends. Tonight, we’re celebrating our friendship, birthdays, laughter, and memories over dinner and hopefully some wine if my stomach can handle it.

Cheers!

Good bye to Turkey!

Good bye to Turkey!

Eff it..I’m eating a burger

 

View of Istanbul from our balcony.

View of Istanbul from our balcony.

Last stop, Istanbul. My stomach has been killing me for the past few days and I can’t seem to hold anything down. Ugh..that’s the worst when you’re on vacation. Yesterday, we walked along the pier and got a grilled fish sandwich and some turkish pickled veggies and all I could do was stare at Jimmy in envy while I sipped my water and ate a bland corn on a cob. At one point I got so desperate that I ate some of the pickled veggies and spat it out in a napkin just so that I could have a taste of it.

After three days of pain, I finally decided to go see a doctor. If it’s anything like Urgent Care in the states, I would be at the hospital for an entire day.

But…to my surprise, I was in and out of Urgent Care in less than 30 minutes! The minute I walked in, someone was helping me every step of the way. Translating with what I was saying to the Dr. and translating back what the Dr. was saying to me. It was by far the best Urgent Care experience I’ve ever had! After the hospital visit, I walked along Istiklal and just said..fuck it…I’m getting Shake Shack. That’s right….my east coast weakness has decided to follow me to Turkey. So after inhaling all of my meds, I inhaled a burger and a shake. Oh. So. Good.

Istanbul has been quite the experience! I love it here so far and I’m hoping to get over whatever it is that I’m having before the trip ends soon.

Complete cover up before entering The Blue Mosque

Complete cover up before entering The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque - Istanbul

The Blue Mosque – Istanbul

Of course you can’t visit Istanbul without visiting a Mosque. One of the most famous Mosque is The Blue Mosque. Before entering, you have to cover yourself up from head to toe and remove your shoes. The structure of this place is impressive and ornate down to the last detail. I think the call to prayer is about 6 times a day and you can hear it throughout the entire city. Kind of amazing how religious the entire country is.

Amazing views

Floating buildings

Best grilled fish sandwiches cooked on the boats by the water

Best grilled fish sandwiches cooked on the boats by the water

 

Coasting Along Turkey

Oludeniz, Turkey - See how happy I am?

Oludeniz, Turkey – See how happy I am?

After Cappadocia we arrived in Cirali and from there we drove along the coast of Turkey to Kas, Oludeniz, and Bodrum. The beaches were beautiful and breath-taking. Take a city girl like me and put me next to the water and I’m one happy camper.

Kas, Turkey

Kas, Turkey

On one of the long drives from Kas to Oludeniz, we decided to stop by one of the beaches and my friend Erin saw a hitch-hiker along the road and she suddenly stops. I looked at her in confusion and asked nervously ‘wait, what are you doing?’ and Jimmy from the back yelled out ‘err…no…keep on going.’ She looked at the both of us and said…’no? should I just go?’ But Erin being one of the sweetest girl that I know, would never just take off once she stops. So she proceeded to roll down the window and Jimmy and I at that point realized it was too late. So we ended up picking up a hitch-hiker. Yup. Never in my lifetime would I think this would happen. One, we’re in a foreign country. Two, we can’t speak the language. And three, we had nothing to defend ourselves with except for gummy bears and water bottles.

Luckily for us, she turned out to be super cool and not some kind of psycho killer.

Our hitch-hiker friend we made in Turkey!

Our hitch-hiker friend we made in Turkey!

Beautiful beach in Cirali

Beautiful beach in Cirali

Hike up to the Eternal Flame of Chimera - natural fire pits scatter across the mountain side.

Hiked up to the Eternal Flame of Chimera – natural fire pits scattered across the mountain side.

Probably one of the coolest hikes I’ve ever done. About .5 miles up on the steep hillside of Mount Chimaera. Once at the top, you’ll see flames burning from pits all throughout the mountainside. The flames burn from the natural methane gas that has been venting from the earth for thousands of years.

Colorful sunset in Oludeniz

Colorful sunset in Oludeniz

Last stop - Bodrum, Turkey

Last stop – Bodrum, Turkey

 

Turkey in 15 Days – Cappadocia

Lost city of Cappadocia - not really.

Lost city of Cappadocia – not really.

Last September I traveled with some amazing friends that I met through dodgeball. The four of us backpacked through Portugal and Spain and somehow managed to not kill each other by the end of it. This year we decided to do it again but this time in Turkey! I’ve been here since the 11th of September and since then we’ve been on the go, go, go. I’m completely exhausted but it has been an amazing experience so far!

We arrived in Istanbul and from there we flew into Cappadocia which is by far my favorite place in Turkey. Tons of amazing hikes, caves and ruins scattered throughout the area. It was breathtaking and a relief from the busy hectic city life of Istanbul.

PS – It’s day 8 and I’m already craving Pho. Of course I do. I always do at least one week into any of my trips.

And now for pictures…drum roll please…

Best cave lodging in Cappadocia - 4 Oda

Best cave lodging in Cappadocia – 4 Oda

Balloons littered across the early morning sky - Cappadocia

Balloons littered across the early morning sky – Cappadocia

Unprotected ruins and amazing paintings

Unprotected ruins and amazing paintings, yup, you can just touch it. They should really try to preserve stuff like this.