a man who sells re-purposed salvaged metal in the slums outside istanbul, beautiful peppers at the local market, kids convening on the streets, most impressive display of eggs i have ever seen, mushroom cap fairy chimneys, ruins of a cave dwelling community, open to view from a collapse in the 60s, a (candid!) shot of a spinning toy salesman, a textile shop at the grand bazaar, beans and grains at the egypt bazaar, colorful houses in the slums outside istanbul.
to say this trip was a long time coming is an understatement. a rather severe understatement. back when i was a kid i had the fortune of having parents who loved to travel and highly encouraged traveling and learning from new cultures; by the time i was ten i had probably been to nearly as many countries as years that i'd been alive. as i grew in age, so did the responsibilities and so became fewer and fewer the opportunities i had to travel abroad. amongst some other recent things that have been striking an emotional chord with me, i really felt the need to travel, to go somewhere new that i hadn't been before, and since this was the first trip abroad with chris (who had only been to europe once before as his sole out-of-country experience), turkey seemed like a good fit for what we were both looking for.
balik ekmek, aka 'fish bread' preparation (on a boat, no less!), spices and tea at the egypt bazaar, a fish stall with that day's catch off the galata bridge, the best examples of the mushroom fairy chimneys.
the country is amazing. ah-ma-zing, seriously. it's hugely historically significant, its "melting pot" of diversity is visible in every aspect of its culture. we spent around nine days in and around istanbul, and a day and a half in kapadokya in central turkey. kapadokya was a trip within a trip that was fairly spur of the moment, but i've never experienced anything like it in my life. to simply say it was spectacular is a near injustice, it was that good. i'll spare everyone reading the exact significance of kapadokya, but a primary draw of the region are the 'fairy chimneys' (or cave houses) carved into the mountains by the hittites; many of the cave houses were retrofitted back in the 60s for tourist lodges and hotels, so we got to stay in a real rock cave as our hotel! how cool is that? we also did a sunrise hot air balloon ride where we got to witness the most amazing view of the canyons and fairy chimneys, and we snuck in a trip to avanos, the pottery capital of turkey. there's even video of a pottery usta (turkish for 'master') teaching me how to work a kickwheel while i proceeded to make the world's ugliest bowl (while also wearing the world's ugliest pants - watch the video and you'll see what i mean) - that was pretty amazing.
various shots of goreme/kapadokya, mostly taken from the balloon ride.
i picked a few of my favorites from our trip above, but in case you're interested, the rest of the photos can be found here, and videos of our hot air balloon ride and of me making a dork of myself at the pottery wheel can be found here. looking through these now, i really, really miss it there. someday i'll hopefully go back.
a new friend i made, in the most interesting shop of antique/handmade knick knacks in goreme.