Turkey – the sound and live-action. Starting inside the Blue Mosque. Over to Topkaki Palace (not worth the 20 lira). Wandering around the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar. After an overnight coach trip to Cappadocia, I woke to hot air balloons over Goreme. A quick hike through the tame Ilhara Gorge. A quick descent into an underground city dug by early christians hiding from Hittites (see the photo/video to actually see it). Up to gambol on the heights of the Selime Monastery. Then south bound to Antalya. Part of the late night Ramadan celebration was a dance contest (the kid in the white shirt won). From the Mediterranean to the Aegean coast. In idyllic Faralya, I was lucky to witness a rare sunset that occurs only once every 24 hours. Back to Antalya for the big bird, returning to Istanbul. Boarded a ferry plying the Bosphorus, sailing amongst vessels of every size, going in every direction. And survived.
Originally published elsewhere on 6 October 2009.