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Kaş!

Kaş!

On Saturday, we left our son at summer camp for a week. We drove along the coast to take our first ever vacation without kids since Nate was born. We headed for Kaş, a beautiful sea side town on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. We stopped along the way at this delightful restaurant for gozleme (crepe-style pancakes with filling) and Turkish tea.

A perfect way to start our week!

A perfect way to start our week!

We had been to Kaş for a weekend in May, and fell in love with it immediately. Lush green hills, spectacular bays dotted with islands, the sparkling clear Mediterranean to swim in, yachts, outdoor restaurants….what’s not to love?

Breathtaking views!

Breathtaking views!

Kaş is the perfect place to find lots of activities, or to do nothing but relax, get some sun, and eat in one of the dozens of charming cafes and restaurants.
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 There are numerous restaurants to choose from. This one was a favorite!
The Asma 6...wonderful location with waves crashing just below.

The Asma 6…wonderful location with waves crashing just below.

In case you get too tired from all the relaxing….

Can we live here, please?

Can we live here, please?

We decided to do a day trip to the Greek island of Kastellorizo (known as Meis in Turkish). Warning! More relaxing and swimming!
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Not many guys get to say that their wife took them to a Greek Island to celebrate Father's Day!

Not many guys get to say that their wife took them to a Greek Island to celebrate Father’s Day!

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After enjoying a nice swim, lunch, and afternoon iced coffees, we headed back to Kaş.
There are many day trips you can take from Kaş. Numerous boats at the harbor offer several different day trips. We will take a day cruise to see the sunken city at Kekova tomorrow, and we’ll let you know how that goes!
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Kaş isn’t known for it’s beaches, although there are a few small pebble beaches.  However, an hour’s drive away you can be at Patara Beach, voted one of the world’s best beaches in 1998.
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Doesn't this guy do anything besides relax?

Doesn’t this guy do anything besides relax?

You can also enjoy the ancient Lycian ruins at Patara, before or after relaxing on the beach.  If you are feeling energetic, you can book a tour that will take you to Patara, Saklikent Gorge, and the ruins of ancient Xanthos. Being the lazy travelers we are, we decided to drive there, saving the other places for another visit.
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 After a very busy year and a half, moving from Prague, six months of travel, and hosting a steady stream of guests in our new place, it is wonderful to slow down. Our main goals today are to take an evening stroll, figure out which boat we’ll take to Kekova tomorrow, and decide what we’ll have for dinner :)
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Life is good! I hope you’ll get to enjoy the Kaş experience some day!

 

 

 

 

 

Kaleici's harbor in Antalya

Kaleici’s harbor in Antalya

After six months of traveling, 30+ homes/beds, our nomadic family have a new home!  We have settled in Antalya, Turkey, on the Mediterranean Coast. We love it here!

This park is just a short walk for us.  This as taken in April...notice the snow on the mountains!

Mediterranean. Mountains. Perfection. This was taken in April…notice the snow on the mountains!

I have been in love with Turkey since my first visit more than 20 years ago.  I was traveling with my best friend from college (a ten month backpacking low budget trip around the world) when we discovered Turkey without planning it ahead of time. As we met other young college-aged travelers, and they heard that we were heading for Europe and Greece, many said, “Are you going to Turkey?? You gotta go to Turkey!!”  Being the Americans we are, Turkey wasn’t on our radar. Turkey is the vacation hotspot for Europeans, Russians, and many other nationalities. We decided to see for ourselves what everyone was raving about.  So we took a boat over from Greece to Turkey. I was hooked immediately!

The water is beautifully clear, like a swimming pool.

The water is beautifully clear, like a swimming pool.

Anyone who has traveled to Turkey needs no explanation of why I fell in love with this country.  For those of you who haven’t yet been here, it’s the friendly, welcoming people; the delicious food, the abundance of fascinating archeological sites: the miles of beautiful beaches, the fascinating city of Istanbul straddling two continents, the culture, the sunshine…I could go on and on! There are even amazing archeological sites on beautiful beaches, where you can enjoy great food with friends.

The ruins of ancient Phaselis sit amongst three beautiful bays, nestled in a forrest.  It's no wonder the Romans decided to build here!

The ruins of ancient Phaselis sit amongst three beautiful bays, nestled in a forest. It’s no wonder the Romans decided to build here!

We decided to move to Antalya after coming to visit in February 2014.  We discovered that it has an international airport, with direct flights to many cities in Europe and the Middle East.  Istanbul is just a one hour flight away.  Antalya is the main city in Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.  Did you know that it’s one of the top five travel destination in the world??!! More than 10 million people visit here every year!!  Most go to the numerous all inclusive resorts along the beautiful Mediterranean coast. 300 hundred sunny days a year sounds pretty good to those coming from cooler, European climates!

This view is just a short walk from our flat!

This view is just a short walk from our flat!

Antalya’s old city of Kaleici is super charming.  It’s small, and easy to navigate. There are, of course, all the touristy shops selling carpets, Turkish delight, spices, souvenirs, and trinkets.

Always bargain before purchasing!

Always bargain before purchasing!

You can get lost in the windy streets full of restored houses from the Ottoman days. However, as long as you head downward, you’ll end up at the lovely port. Going on a boat ride ride is a must-do.  Be sure to negotiate the price of the boat ride!  Prices go down as a boat is about to pull away. Children are free.

There are lots of boats to choose from; lots have a pirate motif.

There are lots of boats to choose from; lots have a pirate motif.

There are many historical sights from Antalya’s multi-layered past.

We have had a steady stream of visitors.  It is fun to show friends our new city!

We have had a steady stream of visitors. It is fun to show friends our new city!

Hadrian's Gate....built in honor of Emperor Hadrian's visit here in the 100's.

Hadrian’s Gate….built in honor of Emperor Hadrian’s visit here in the second century.

 

There are many wonderful day trips you can go on.  I’ll be writing more about them in the future. Here are some of our favorites:

Ancient Termessos

Ancient Termessos

Side, a lovely sea side town with fascinating Roman ruins and a long sandy beach.

Side, a lovely sea side town with fascinating Roman ruins and a long sandy beach.

Phaselis is great to take in the ruins, enjoy  a picnic by the sea, and have a swim.

Phaselis is great to take in the ruins, enjoy a picnic by the sea, and have a swim.

Come see why more than 10 million people come here for vacation every year!

We went to this lovely seaside town last month and we are  looking forward to returning next week!

We went to this lovely seaside town last month and we are looking forward to returning next week!

 

The main House, outdoor sitting and dining area.

The main house, outdoor sitting and dining area.

We recently spent a week at Bamboo Banks, which is a 40 acre farm in the jungle, at the foot of the Nilgiris in the Mudumulai Game Reserve. Bamboo Banks is owned by our long time family friends, the Kothavala family. Siasp and Zarine Kothavala started Bamboo Banks forty years ago.  Siasp now runs the guest house with the help of his son, Zerasp, and daughter, Shahanaz. I’ve been going there since I was a kid for family vacations, and the place is full of happy memories for me.

The drive to Bamboo Banks takes about six to eight hours from Bangalore, depending on traffic. The drive through the countryside is full of interesting sights.

Banyan tree.

Banyan tree.

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Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is also a declared Tiger Reserve. It’s in the Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu, and shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The Wildlife Sanctuary is home to endangered species including the Royal Bengal tiger and Indian leopard.

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Mudumalai National Park is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Looks like he is posing!

Looks like he is posing!

Bamboo Banks is a magical place, with lush greenery that is beautifully landscaped. Zarine Kothavala was passionate about gardening, and you will see her beautiful touch throughout the property.  There’s a donkey and his three horses that roam the property, munching away and keeping the lawns nicely trimmed.

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There are also two emus, several turkeys, pea hens and ducks that wander about the property!

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You can also watch the monkeys play in the trees and around the pond.

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One morning we awoke to monkeys scampering on the roof of our cottage! Another night I watched spotted deer eating the grass just outside the bedroom window. We often heard animals calling in the night.

This was our cottage, called "The Annexe".

This was our cottage, called “The Annexe”.

Guests are warned to stay in their cottages after dark, as animal do come on the property. There’s an electric fence; however, there have been a couple of occasions when elephants have come on the property. Recently one came to eat up Shahanaz’ vegetable garden! Ask Zeras to show you photos on his phone of the…interesting…evidence left behind by an elephant in front of the main house.

This is the cottage Andy and I stayed in when we came in 2003,

The Brick House: this is the cottage Andy and I stayed in when we came in 2003.

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Zerasp took us on two different jeep rides on the property, one in the day, and another in the evening.

Thankfully for everyone, it was Zerasp who drove us, not me!

Thankfully for everyone, it was Zerasp who drove, not me!

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We saw saw spotted deer, wild boar and a peacock.

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When we went again in the evening, we saw more deer, wild boar, and a stunning sunset from the tree house (marchan).

Going up the tree house earlier in the day.

Climbing up the tree house earlier in the day.

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Guests can also purchase a jeep jungle tour in the early morning or in the evening, just before dusk, when the animals come out to feed. Two different sets of guests were lucky enough to spot a tiger while we were there!

One day Shahanaz took us to see the nearby town of Masinagudi and the surrounding countryside.

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We also stopped to see a local temple.

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Another evening Shahanaz took us to the Elephant Camp in Mudumulai to see the elephants getting fed just before dusk. Wild boar also flock down to see what scraps they can find. On the way back we saw a bison along the road!

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Bamboo Banks is a place to relax and unwind. There’s a lovely pool with out door seating, hammocks and a swing. There’s also a trampoline. Adults can relax while the kids happily expend their energy!

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One afternoon the donkey and his three horses arrived to have their lunch by the pool.

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My favorite view by the pool:)

My favorite view by the pool:)

There’s also a kids’ play area with swings, a merry-go-round, teeter-totter, trampoline, and slide.

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There are also ATVs to ride around the property.

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The food was amazing! Guests are always served multiple dishes at each meal, with a wide variety of Indian and European food. We will be working on losing the extra weight for weeks to come!!

Every meal was a feast!

Every meal was a feast!

The dining area: a great place to enjoy delicious food and nature at the same time!

The dining area: a great place to enjoy delicious food and nature at the same time!

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We spent seven wonderful, relaxing days there. It was hard to say good-bye. Thank you to Siasp, Zerasp, and Shahanaz for yet another amazing visit to Bamboo Banks. We are already looking forward to our next visit! See the link below to book your stay!

http://bamboobanks.com/index.html

 

Jump!

Jump!

During this season of travel we had a wonderful opportunity to visit friends who recently moved to Dubai.  While looking for flights from Prague to India, we noted that many went through Dubai…in fact it was only $200 from Prague to Dubai! So we took the opportunity to visit our friends Mike and Catherine and their boys for a weekend. They live outside of the city, not far from the beach.

That's the Persian Gulf!

That’s the Persian Gulf!

I never thought I’d watch our son play with friends in the waters of the Persian Gulf!!

Also known as the Arabian Gulf in the UAE.

Also known as the Arabian Gulf in the UAE.

The next day our friends took us to see a camel race track!

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Here are the race camels...

Here are the race camels…

And here's our gang:)

And here’s our gang:)

Catherine told us they once were invited to see a race.  She had expected to watch the race from the stands; however, she was surprised to discover that the race was watched while in a car speeding alongside the camels, yelling encouragement to your favored camel (go, Orange!!)…amongst other speeding cars full of people cheering for their camels!  Wish we could have experienced that!!

Apparently the camels are ridden by robot jockeys during the race...no, I'm not making it up!

Apparently the camels are ridden by robot jockeys during the race…no, I’m not making it up!

 

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Next, they took us to the desert.  I mean, the real desert, with enormous sand dunes.  We got there by four wheel driving…slipping, sliding, and bumping our way over the dunes to “their dune”.  It felt just like driving across snow. There were no tracks, no parking lot, just follow the old race track and then veer off until we found this place…

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The kids had a blast jumping off the dunes, running, climbing, and digging in the sand.  It was so soft, like baby powder!!

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The adults enjoyed chillin' while the kids played...

The adults enjoyed chillin’ while the kids played…

Quite an amazing view!

Quite an amazing view!

We watched the sun get lower in the sky, but had to head home while it was still light.

We watched the sun get lower in the sky, but had to head home while it was still light.

Good-bye, desert!

Good-bye, desert!

Then there was a great sunset to top off a really great day as we headed home…

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A big thank you to our friends for a wonderful couple of days!

 

 

 

Sunny California in November

San Clemente, California

San Clemente, California

I grew up in Southern California, other than four years of my childhood that were spent in India.  We were blessed to spend five days here visiting friends and family in early November. We stayed at first with a friend who lives in Capistrano Beach, near Dana Point and San Clemente.

This lovely park sits on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

This lovely park sits on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

One afternoon, Nate took the scooter to the park nearby.  No words are necessary; enjoy the photos essay!

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A few days later we went to Oceanside to meet up with a friend.

Oceanside, California

Oceanside, California

We had lunch next to the pier while we caught up, then had a walk down the pier.  Yes, this was November 3rd!

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It was wonderful to be in this lovely area, soak in the sunshine, and to catch up with old friends!

 

 

My ninth birthday party!

My ninth birthday party in September 2013

Life is one big adventure! I lived the last three years in Prague with my parents. My dad taught science at an international school. I went to the same school. We got to do a lot of traveling during our school breaks. During our October break we did a home exchange in Munich.

Munich!

Munich!

Dad’s favorite place was the Hoffbrauhaus. Read more about our trip to Munich here:

http://globalnomadfamily.com/2013/10/28/munichs-hofbrauhaus-the-worlds-most-famous-beer-hall/

Hoffbrauhaus!

Hoffbrauhaus!

Mom’s favorite day trip was to Salzburg, Austria, just a two hour train ride away. You can read more about our trip to Salzburg here;

http://globalnomadfamily.com/tag/salzburg/

Recognize this from the Sound of Music?

Recognize this from the Sound of Music?

My favorite place was Legoland!

Amazing!

My parents surprised me with a trip here on our last day.

In December we visited Grandma, Grandpa, and my aunts, uncles and cousins in the US.

Just after a snowball fight with Dad!

Just after a snowball fight with Dad!

In February we did another home exchange in Antalya, Turkey. Dad loved being on the Mediterranean. It was sunny and a little warm, even though it was February!

February!

February!

Mom loved the quaint old town of Kaleici with its 2000 year old Roman port. You can read more about our trip to Kaleici here:

http://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/04/24/the-picturesque-city-of-kaleici-in-antalya-turkey/

The old town of Kaleici.

The old town of Kaleici.

My favorite place was the Aquarium!

This tunnel was so cool!  We could see sharks swim over us!

This tunnel was so cool! We could see sharks swim over us!

My sister Sam came to visit us in March.

It was so fun to show her our city!

It was so fun to show Sam our city!

She loved exploring Prague!

Sam loved exploring Prague!

We went to Rome for our Easter break; another home exchange. Dad liked the Pantheon and St Peter’s Basilica.

The view from the Pantheon.

The view from the Pantheon.

We even got to see the Pope!

We even got to see the Pope right after Easter!

Mom liked walking through the streets and taking lots of photos.

Lots of photos, come ON, MOM!

Lots of photos, come ON, MOM!

I liked exploring the Castel San Angelo and the Colosseum.

Goofing around!

Goofing around!

But this was my true favorite…

Gelato. Simply the best.

Gelato. Simply the best.

May and June were busy! I was in the school musical, The Magic School Bus.  Lots of friends came to stay with us at our flat. I went to Summer Fayre, cub scout meetings, and birthday parties.

In July we sold all our furniture and stuff and moved out of our flat in Prague. Mom was sad, but Dad and I are excited for our new adventure. We get to travel for five months before we arrive in our new city and find a new home. Read more about our last days in Prague here:

http://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/08/02/good-bye-prague/

My room in Prague.

My room in Prague.

Good-bye room!

Good-bye room!

Since leaving Prague we have stayed in 21 different beds in five different countries! We are doing home exchanges, visiting friends and family. For now, home is wherever we are staying the night. Follow along on our travels and you’ll find out where our new home will be!

 

 

 

 

The Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor

We stayed for four days in Herceg-Novi, in Montenegro.  One day we decided to go for a drive around the Bay of Kotor.  Think Norwegian fjords, Hawaiian lush landscape, spectacular bays and crystal clear water…stunning!

We felt as if we were at a lake, because we were surrounded all around by mountains.

We felt as if we were at a lake, because we were surrounded all around by mountains.

We drove along the bay and decided to stop at the entrance of the town of Perast.

Ok, this was the view from the parking lot!!

Ok, this was the view from the public parking lot!!

We walked toward the little town of Perast, and found an area to go for a swim.

The water was clear and wonderful!

The water was clear and wonderful!

We dried off and visited the little town of Perast. It has a long and colorful past, dating back to 3500 BC with evidence of a Neolithic culture found in caves above Perast.  Other archeological finds include evidence from Roman and early Christian periods.

Perast

Perast

This little city has changed hands frequently over the centuries. It was part of the Byzantine empire in the 10th century.

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It was a free city of medieval Serbia in the 1100’s.

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Perast enjoyed a brief time of independence between 1395 to 1420.

 

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It changed hands from the Venetian Republic of Venice and Hungarian control between the  1400’s and the 1700’s.

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Perast was under French occupation in the 1800’s until 1914.

 

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It was then ruled by Austria from 1914-1918. Perast became part of Yugoslavia in 1918.

 

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Mussolini annexed the territories around Kotor to Italy in 1941. Perast later became part of Yugoslavia again after WWII.

Perast has been part of Montenegro since its independence in 2006. What a past this little city has!

The modern Perast has a sleepy, relaxed vibe with lots of character.  Perfect for a day trip to include a swim, a boat ride to one of the little islands, and a meal at one of the outdoor cafes!

 

 

 

 

My favorite European city!

My favorite European city!

We left Prague two days ago, after three wonderful years here as expats.  Global Nomad Family is doing what our name says…we are picking up and moving.  For the next five months, we will be traveling…with no home base until January 2015.  Where will we be moving?  Follow along, and you’ll find out!

Leaving Prague has been. really. DIFFICULT.  I have really loved living here.  People save up their money to Prague for a vacation. The city is flooded with tourists year round.  We had the amazing privilege of living in this beautiful city. For example, this is my view as I take the tram to the dentist!

Prague=eye candy

Prague=eye candy

However, most of all, it will be the people and the friendships that I will miss the most. We have been blessed to develop friendships with Czechs and expats who are really fascinating people.

We will miss Riverside School: the teachers, the staff, the students and our fellow parents.  If you are moving to Prague with kids, do yourself and your kids a favor and enroll them in Riverside School.  It’s truly a special place with outstanding teachers and staff, great kids from dozens of different countries, and a wonderful community of parents where all feel welcome.

 

Nate waiting for the bus on his day of school.  I was choking back the tears!  Notice the castle in the background.

Nate waiting for the bus on his last day of school. I was choking back the tears! Notice the castle in the background.

June was an an extremely difficult month for me. It was a month of  good-byes.  The reality of leaving hit hard. I was absolutely dreading June 26th, the last day of school. It’s always a half day, with an end of the year assembly in which each child who is leaving is called up to the front by their teachers; the teachers tell why the child will be missed, and the child is given a class-made good-bye gift.  The moms sit in the back with dark sunglasses on and get all weepy…even when it’s not their child leaving!  Expat kids have to move often due to changes in their parents’ work circumstances, and this ceremony is a really healthy way to give the leaving children closure.  It’s also good for the children who aren’t leaving as it gives them a way to say good-bye to classmates.

However, I’ve always dreaded the day that Nate would be one of those kids up there, being the one said good-bye to.  It was really, really hard for me.  I was also afraid of how Nate would do…would that be the moment he’d realize the finality of the fact that we were leaving, never to return as anything more than visitors? Would he burst into tears like a little boy did last year when he was called up there?

The last day assembly.  This is the moment I had been dreading ever since we made the decision to leave Prague.

The last day assembly. This is the moment I had been dreading ever since we made the decision to leave Prague.

Thankfully, Nate was completely fine!  He sailed through it with smiles, and even spotted me in the back and gave me a big thumbs up!  He is such an amazing kid; so flexible, adaptable, and excited for new adventures.  He’s still at the age where we are his life and he trusts us completely.  Friends haven’t yet usurped the most important place in his heart.  We’ll enjoy that #1 spot for as long as possible!

I’ll also miss our wonderful flat, up on a hill overlooking the city.

We LOVED this view.  We are so gonna miss it!

We LOVED this view out of our bedroom and guest room windows. We are so gonna miss it!

Sunrise, from our window.   That's the Crown Plaza Hotel, built in the 50's during Communist times.

Sunrise, from our window. That’s the Crown Plaza Hotel, built in the 50’s during Communist times.

We initially came on a two year teaching contract.  We arrived with just six suitcases and three carry-ons.  We found this flat on our fourth day of looking, and immediately knew it was the one for us.  It was completely unfurnished, so we had to start from scratch.  As most expat teachers do, we went to Ikea and purchased the least expensive furniture. We didn’t want to invest in “the best” as we didn’t know if we’d be leaving in two years.  It was fun to start over; two years turned into three, and little by little our empty flat became a home.

Lots of good meals and fellowship around that table.

Lots of good meals and fellowship around that table.

We sold or gave away all of our furniture and household goods.  We kept only what would fit into six suitcases and three carry ons.  On June 30th, the movers came to take the remaining furniture to the new home of the teacher who will be replacing Andy. We worked hard to complete our packing and to clean the place to make it ready for the next people who will enjoy the flat on the hill…

Good-bye living room and kitchen!

Good-bye living room and kitchen!

We have had more than a hundred guests during our three years in Prague!  We love hosting people.  We’ve had lots of friends, family, and even people we didn’t know come to stay with us. We gave guests the biggest room with the spectacular view of the city!

Now the blue sofa is in the Riverside Boys' Dormitory!

Now the blue sofa is in the Riverside Boys’ Accomodation!

Better to dance than to cry!

Better to dance than to cry!

This was our room… European beds are always low to the ground, and the duvet sits on top like icing on a cake.

Most of our furniture was purchased by the teacher who will be replacing Andy.

Can we say IKEA?!i

 

Ljudmila helped me clean the flat.  We would have been cleaning 'til the wee hours without her help!

Lijdmila helped me clean the flat. We would have been cleaning ’til the wee hours without her help!

And Nate’s room…

The maps on his wall are from places we visited during our school holidays.  They are the only personal decoration items we are taking to our next living destination!

The maps on his wall are from places we visited during our school holidays. They are the only personal decoration items we are taking to our next living destination!

 

Good-bye, Nate's room!

Good-bye, Nate’s room!

 

July was a very busy month of packing up, selling all of our furniture and household goods, and working on a seemingly endless list of things to do.  It was stressful!  I like unpacking and nesting, but I don’t like packing and moving.  Finally, it was all done on July 30th.  We left it spotlessly clean, thanks to help from Lijdmila…and completely devoid of all evidence of the love, life and laughter that was ours here, in this lovely home.

We were so tired after cleaning and packing all day!  The built in closet was the only place to sit down besides the floor.

We were so tired after cleaning and packing all day! The built in closet was the only place to sit down besides the floor.

Prague will forever be in our memories: our amazing three years in this beautiful city, our precious friends, Riverside School, and our home on top of the hill.  Good-bye, Prague!  You will ALWAYS have a special place in our hearts!

Stay tuned for our upcoming adventures in Slovakia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia…

Enjoying a sunny February day in the old city of Kaleici in Antalya, Turkey

Enjoying a sunny February day in the old city of Kaleici in Antalya, Turkey

We recently spent six lovely days in Antalya, Turkey. It’s located on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Kaleiçi is the historic area of the town.  It started as a Roman town around 150 BC, and was named after it’s founder: Attalos II, King of Pergamon.  It later changed hands to the Byzantines, then the Seljuk Turks, and finally passed to the Ottoman Turks.

What view? Our oblivious 9-year-old:)

What view? Our oblivious 9-year-old:)

King Attalos III bequeathed his kingdom to Rome upon his death in 133 BC, and Antalya became part of the Roman Republic.

The port

The Roman Harbor

Antalya was visited by the Apostle Paul, as recorded in the book of Acts: “From Perga, Paul and Barnabas went down to Attalia and sailed from there to Antioch after preaching in Pisidia and Pamphylia” (Acts 14:25-26).

This harbor is where he sailed from!

Rows of pirate boats

Rows of  boats, capitalizing on the theme of Pirates of the Caribbean:)

Antalya was a major city in the Byzantine Empire. It was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the 13th century. It was conquered by the Ottomans in the 14th century.

Lots of souvenir shops, of course!

Lots of shops

Carpet, anyone?

Carpet, anyone?

Kaleiçi is a lovely place to just wander through the winding streets.

Exploring...

Exploring…

The Broken Mınaret Mosque Kesik Minare has changed hands on multiple occasions through the centuries.  It was originally built as a Roman temple in the 2nd century AD.  The Roman Temple was later converted into a Christian church during the Byzantine era in the 7th century. It was converted into a mosque in the 13th century, and the minaret was added. Not long after, it was converted back into a church when Antalya was taken by the crusader king of Cyprus. It was reconverted yet again to a mosque, and has remained a mosque since!

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Outside the mosque.

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The Broken Minaret

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Interesting courtyard…

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Hookah, anyone?

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What’s in there?

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The equivalent of Prague’s John Lennon Wall?

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Taken for his sister Sam and Star Wars fans around the globe:)

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Taking it easy….

The modern city of Antalya started growing after World War II. It is located in a lovely location, surrounded by mountains, facing the beautiful Mediterranean Sea with its beautiful beaches.

Now, that's a view!

Now, that’s a view!

I was surprised to find out that Antalya, as the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, is in the top ten of most visited cities of the world!!! It has surpassed Istanbul as a tourist destination. It draws both history buffs and sun-seekers. Most tourists stay in the beach resorts in Konyaalti or Lara.

However, modern Antalya,with its tall buildings and large tourist developments along the coast, didn’t draw me like Kaleiçi did. There are lots of great day trips if you are based in Kaleiçi.  Check out these recommendations from Tripadvisor:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g297962-s407/Antalya:Turkey:Day.Trips.html

Just before sunset...

Just before sunset…

Avoid all those crowds…visit Antalya between September and May.  April, May, September and October are the best months to find nice weather without so many tourists.  We were there in February and enjoyed weather in the upper 60’s and it even hit 70 for a day.  Sunshine is amazing, especially after a cold winter in Europe!

Beaches, ancient ruins, the Mediterranean, snow capped mountains, sunshine…what’s not to like? Best of all are the friendly Turks and their wonderful cuisine. We’ll definitely be back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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