Category: Turkey


Can you believe this was taken on November 1st??!!

Can you believe this was taken on November 1st??!!

We have been to Olympos twice, and it’s one of our favorite getaway places! Our first trip to Olympos was last fall. We discovered that we had a very long weekend, thanks to the national holiday, Republic Day (October 29),which marks the creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Friday and Monday were declared school holidays due to the elections on November 1st.  So, we headed for the otogar (bus station) and got into a dolmuş (public transport mini bus) and headed for Olympos. The dolmuşes leave from the far end of the bus station about every 10 minutes, so it is easy to get there via public transport.

An hour and a half later, we were dropped at this cafe, where we had some tea while waiting for another dolmuş to take us down the canyon to Olympos. Not a bad place to wait, eh?

Tea and snacks available while you wait. Lots of vans pull up to drop passengers heading to Olympos.

Tea and snacks available while you wait. Lots of vans pull up to drop passengers heading to Olympos.

Olympos is well known for its rustic charm, with dozens of tree house and cabin pensions. We stayed in Saban’s, recommended by a friend. We loved it!  Half-board was included, and the food was delicious. We had a little one room cabin, surrounded by fruit and pine trees, nestled by the hills. We left our gear and headed out to explore the ruins that everyone comes here to see.

The sound of silence was fabulous to this city-dweller's ears:).

The sound of silence was fabulous to this city-dweller’s ears:).

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Saban’s has fruit trees all around; these are pomegranate trees.

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This was breakfast! Dinner was a buffet meal of delicious home-cooked Turkish food, including mezes and salad.

Andy first visited Olympos with a friend.  Here’s the tree house he stayed in!

Turkmen's Tree Houses

Turkmen’s Tree Houses

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Be sure to try some fresh-squeezed juice!

 

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Kadir’s Tree Houses is said to be the original tree house/bungalow pension.  It has a very artistic, hippie-like feel to their cabins, and it’s still very popular with the younger, backpacking crowd.

From Saban’s it is a ten minute walk to the entry of the ruins.  If you live in Turkey, be sure to get an annual museum pass; you won’t have to pay the 20 TL fee, which also allows you access to the beach. Those  of you don’t live in Turkey can get a pass for 10 entries for 7.5 TL. You need to pass through the ruins to get to the beach.

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The ruins to the right of the creek bed are “untamed” but are worth the hike. It’s the “Indiana Jones hike”.

Olympos  was founded during the Hellenistic Period, and became a prominent city of the Lycian League by the second century BC.

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The city was built inside the river valley, behind the mountains, to conceal its wealth from pirates.

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However, this strategy didn’t work: Olympos was later used as a base by  a powerful group of pirates. There was an infamous pirate called Zeniketos who operated from Olympos.

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After the ruins you arrive at the sea!

A Roman commander of Julius Ceasar conquered the city in the first century BC to neutralize the threat from the pirates.

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People continued to live in Olympos until its decline in the 1400’s.

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This was a lovely October day. Notice my twin on the right.

We returned for a quick weekend trip in May. This time we stayed at Olympos Orange Bungalows, which also was a good place to stay: nice food, clean rooms, and a lovely garden area.

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Orange Bungalows garden area

One of the “must-do” things to do near Olympos is something we haven’t done yet: visit the eternal fires of Chimera which are natural gas-fueled flames that are never extinguished. It’s a popular place to hike up to at sunset or after dark.  North American visitors are known to bring marshmallows and other ingredients to make smores:)  We are told it’s easier to get there if you have your own transport, but you still have about a 3 kilometer hike up (then back down) the mountainside (in the dark), so be sure to wear good hiking shoes and bring a flashlight.  So we are told!  Nate has been three times; twice while camping with his class, and once while he was at summer camp.

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Instead, we roasted marshmallows by the fire at Orange Bungalows; we substituted graham crackers with tea biscuits (cookies) and it was GOOD!!

Since most of the pensions in Olympos provide half-board (breakfast and dinner) in their rate, it’s fun to try the little restaurants for lunch.  Here’s one of our favorites, not far from the entrance to the ruins:

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You said you wanted a close up on our plates? Ok!

So, what are you waiting for? Come and see for yourself why Olympos is a great getaway place!

Prague, my home for 1/3 of my life!

Prague, my home for 1/3 of my life!

I have had an amazing year since my family and I left Prague on July 31, 2014. In August 2014 we went to Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Montenegro. We visited Amber and her dog Paws, in the beautiful Slovakian countryside.

Amber's garden

Amber’s garden

We swam in the sparkling Adriatic Sea with our friends in Croatia.

The food was delicious! We swam and ate and ate and swam.

The food was delicious! We swam and ate and ate and swam.

We drove to some interesting seaside towns in Montenegro, and we swam in the beautiful Bay of Kotor.

It was hot and the water felt good!

It was hot and the water felt good! The dog liked it, too.

You can read more about our adventures in Montenegro here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/08/16/the-bay-of-kotor-montenegro-stunning/

We visited our Indian friends, Sally and Ram, in Slovenia. They took us to Lake Bohinj, and we had a delicious picnic.

Too cold to swim.

Too cold to swim.

Then we flew to the USA in September and visited friends and family in six different states over the next two months. We visited our friends in Oregon. We visited Auntie Robin at her amazing cabin in the mountains, in California.

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We stayed at my little cousins’ house in Indiana. We played legos, and went to the zoo. I had a surprise early birthday party, and I got Angry Birds Star Wars telepods.

I was so surprised because it was a week before my birthday!

I was so surprised because it was a week before my birthday!

We visited my Grandma, Grandpa, and sister in Wisconsin. We stayed at our friends the Zideks’ house. We spent time with friends and family, and celebrated my birthday two more times!

We went out for Mexican food for my birthday!

We went out for Mexican food for my birthday. Not my best photo!

We stayed at my cousin Morgan’s house in Minnesota, where we played Gamecube Super Mario Sunshine and card games.  Then we visited my grandparents, uncles, and aunt in Texas. We went to NASA in Texas with my uncle and aunt.

The original control room for the Apollo missions.

The original control room for the Apollo missions.

In November we flew from the US to Prague, and we stayed there a week. We stayed at the Antblads, our good friends from Sweden. We visited my wonderful school. I met my old friends, including my friends David and Robbie. I was sad to leave my great friends.

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We flew from Prague to Dubai, and we stayed a few days with the Bevans, our British friends. We swam and played in the Persian Gulf. We saw a camel racing farm in the desert.

I wish we could have seen the camels race!

I wish we could have seen the camels race!

We went by elevator up the Burj Kalifa building, the tallest building in the world. It is 2,722 feet (830 meters) tall! We saw dozens of the tall, modern buildings. You can read more about our adventure around Dubai here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/11/23/beaches-camels-and-sand-dunes/

Good-bye, desert!

This is us with our friends, the Bevans.

Next, we flew to Bangalore, India and stayed with our friends, Martha and Susheel, at their farm. They have five cute dogs, and I liked playing with them. I walked the dogs almost every afternoon by the lake.

On the farm

On the farm

We went to Susheel’s second farm in the countryside for a weekend. On the way we saw many interesting animals. Indian food is the most yummy food I have ever had.

On the way to Susheel's other farm.

On the way to Susheel’s other farm.

We visited other friends at their 40 acre farm called Bamboo Banks, located in the jungle. We stayed in a small, cute cottage with a garden. I swam in the pool while Mom was reading in the hammock. I jumped really high on the trampoline.

The horses came by for lunch while I swam.

The horses came by for lunch while I swam.

One morning the monkeys woke us up when they were playing on top of our roof!

One morning the monkeys woke us up when they were playing on top of our roof!

On a jeep ride we saw deer, peacocks, wild boars, and monkeys. We watched the elephants eat their food at the elephant camp.

Sometimes we drove really fast!

Sometimes we drove really fast!

So close! We had to be really quiet.

So close! We had to be really quiet.

You can read more about our adventures in the jungle here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2014/12/27/bamboo-banks-paradise-in-the-jungle/

After Bamboo Banks, we stayed three weeks with Granny Ingrid. Every morning Dad and I went swimming in Granny Ingrid’s pool. The Zideks, our American friends, came to Granny Ingrid’s house for Christmas. On Christmas morning I opened my presents. Then we went to a party with fancy cars and delicious food. India was the best vacation ever for me. We spent six weeks in India, and I loved it!

 

Granny Ingrid

Granny Ingrid

Last Christmas I was really into Super Mario Brothers!

Last Christmas I was really into Super Mario Brothers!

On the way with our not-so-fancy car. Seatbelt laws aren't the same here!

On the way with our not-so-fancy car. Seatbelt laws aren’t the same in India!

 

This was at the Christmas Day lunch party with Auntie Ingrid's friends.

This was at the Christmas Day lunch party with Auntie Ingrid’s friends.

We  moved  to Turkey in late December 2014. In Turkey I  went to a new school . We love having guests and showing them cool places nearby.

 

Termessos!

We hiked up a mountain to see Termessos!

We like going on boat rides with guests!

We like going on boat rides with guests!

 

There is a nice beach here, too.

We went to Side to see the ruins. There is a nice beach here, too.

My cabin. I shared with three boys.

I went camping twice in Cirali; once with my school, and once with our church. This is the cabin I shared with three boys.

The mountains are not far away.

The mountains are not far away.

It has been a good year.  I like living in Antalya.  I like the mountains, the nice breeze, the sea, and the ice cream (dondurma). You would love it if you came here.

 

 

 

 

 

Taken from the top of the monastery!

Taken from the top of the monastery!

Cappadocia is a magical place.  We discovered the lovely Monastery of St. Nicholas while exploring Mustafapaşa, a town that is often missed by tourists visiting Cappadocia. It used to be known as Sinasos, its Greek name, prior to 1924. We hope to come back to hike this fascinating valley of fairy chimneys!

Kekova: the Sunken CIty

Kekova: the sunken city

Kekova: the sunken city

While staying in Kaş we decided to take a boat day trip to see Kekova and the lovely turquoise coast line on the way. We did the rounds on the harbor, checking prices and itineraries.  The majority of the boats charged 60 TL ($22) for an eight hour trip including lunch and multiple swim stops.

You get to reserve your "spot" on the boat.

You get to reserve your “spot” on the boat.

We got to stop in beautiful bays to swim in the crystal clear water.

We got to stop in beautiful bays to swim in the crystal clear water.

It looks like a swimming pool, but it isn't!

It looks like a swimming pool, but it isn’t!

Kekova is a small uninhabited island which is opposite ancient Simena (now Kaleköy) and near Teimioussa (now Üçağiz). Kekova is now a protected area, so the boats can’t stop there; however, they go by the island so that you can see the partially sunken ruins of the ancient town called Dolchiste.  It used to be the residential part of ancient Simena. It was destroyed by terrible earthquakes in the second century, and later rebuilt by the Byzantines. Dolchiste was later abandoned due to invasions by the Arabs.

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The sunken city

The Kekova region is very popular with the yachts and cruise boats. Ancient archaeological sites, sparkling blue water, tranquility, beautiful nature, sunshine….it’s no wonder many stay here for weeks at a time, in one of the nearby bays of the charming fishing villages of Kaleköy or Üçağiz.

Kekova

Kekova

Kaleköy (ancient Simena) is very picturesque. The new cafes, pensions,and shops mingle with the ancient and medieval ruins, and somehow it works!  The history of ancient Simena goes back to the 4th century B.C. It was once a small fishing village, and later was settled by the Knights of Rhodes, who built the castle.

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The castle was used by the Byzantines.

Kaleköy is accessible only by sea.

Kaleköy is accessible only by sea.

 

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The sarcophagus tomb

The sarcophagus tomb

 

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More ancient Lycian sarcophagi

 

There are lots of little cafes to enjoy a snack and homemade ice cream.

There are lots of little cafes to enjoy a snack and homemade ice cream.

We headed back to Kaš, after stopping to swim again. It was a wonderful day!  We highly recommend the boat trip to Kekova!

 

The Greek island of Kastellorizo, known as Meis in Turkish.

The Greek island of Kastellorizo, known as Meis in Turkish.

We decided to do a day trip to the Greek island of Kastellorizo, just a 30 minute boat ride from

Kaş. Be sure to take your passport with you when you make a reservation.  You have to either leave it with the tour company the night before, or hand it over an hour before the boat leaves, so that it can be processed by the customs office.
There are lots of little restaurant around the small harbor.

There are lots of little restaurant around the small harbor.

We explored the area right around the bay.
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The island was taken over by crusading knights in 1306. They restored the castle and used it as a prison for disobedient knights:)

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From the 1400’s to the 1800’s the island was occupied by the Sultan of Egypt, the King of Naples, the Ottoman Sultan, the Venetians, the Greeks, and then back to the Ottomans!

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In the early 1900’s the Italians, Greeks, French, Brits, and Turks battled over possession of this island. The treaty of Lausanne gave the island to Italy.

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The Brits and the Italians battled over the island in 1941. It was occupied by Allied forces in 1943. Kastellorizo became part of Greece in 1948 under the Paris Peace Treaties.

There’s not a lot to do there, which was perfect for us.  We were celebrating Father’s Day…not many guys can say they went to a Greek island for the day!  We relaxed in a lounge chair by the sea, sipping ice coffees and swimming in the lovely bay.
Looks like I'm sitting by the pool, doesn't it?

Looks like I’m sitting by the pool, doesn’t it?

The view:)

The full view:)

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We had a great lunch with fresh fish from the sea at a lovely restaurant on the bay.
Fresh fish!

Fresh fish with a glass of wine…life is good!

This is where we had lunch.

This is where we had lunch.

The view from our table.

The view from our table.

After lunch we took some more photos…
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Then returned to our lounge chairs and iced coffees:)
Nice way to spend Father's Day, eh?  But we missed our kids!

Nice way to spend Father’s Day, eh? But we missed our kids!

Finally, it was time to head back to Kaş.

Kaş harbor

Kaş harbor

We really enjoyed the day. Definitely consider a day trip to Kastellorizo if you are ever in Kaş!
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Sumela Monastery, founded in 386 AD!

This fascinating monastery is nestled in a steep cliff at an altitude of about  4,000 feet. It is located in the Altındere National Park, and is surrounded by lush, green coastal mountains. Don’t miss it if you go to the Black Sea region of Turkey!

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!

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:

https://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;

https://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:

https://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:

https://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!

 

 

 

 

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!