Turkey over-the-top exceeds our expectations - fabulous archeological digs in Ephesus, ancient caves with paintings, chic European cafes, gorgeous architecture from many ages, treasure-laden palaces, - once, we slept in a cave with candles and white duvets - really cool ...(we also slept in buses and on trains...) - really an amazing country that is keeping the best of the old and introducing the best of the new. We met up with a colleague of mine who lives in Istanbul and she showed us her favourite haunts - she has a son Birch's age, and we all enjoyed a turkish dinner together. Great food - and we had to try many varieties of Turkish delight. Clean, safe, (okay, except maybe for the bombs in the northeast, but we were never near there..). Of all the countries we have visited so far, Turkey is the one we would recommend to those of our friends who want something different, and prefer excellent hotels to rougher ways of travelling... (But the cave was pretty cool...)
Above, Allegra and Carolyn at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, built in 1616 by Sultan Ahmed I;
below, we are standing under an archway of an archeological dig currently being recovered in Ephesus - amazing!!
The temple of Diana was discovered 143 years ago, and excavation work has been going on ever since. It is an international endeavour - the Austrians have done the bulk of the recovery of this library. It was exciting to see work being done, pillars pieced together like a giant Rubic's cube puzzle.
They estimate only 10-15% has been uncovered, so it could take centuries to do it all.