Istanbul to Bodrum - An Oasis

 When our performance season with the ballet comes to an end with an international tour, we are given the option of flying back directly after the tour ends, or a week afterwards.  My close friends and I being adventurous and curious decided to use our European location for access to cheap flights to places that would otherwise be very expensive and far away.  A few months before our trip we began brainstorming on the various options...Italy? South of France? Switzerland? The possibilities seemed endless.  In the end, we went with something  entirely different - Turkey.

 The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

Turkey is one of those places I have always wanted to visit.  When I thought of Turkey, in my mind I conjured up a spectrum of vivid colors and pulsating life, it seemed like such an interesting and beautiful place, full of history and a culture so different from the one we live in, in America.

With a couple of days spent in Istanbul and a couple more spent in Bodrum, we managed to squeeze a lot into too little time and our trip was one of beauty and color, taste and texture.  I could not possibly go through all of the pictures and moments I would like in one small post, but here are the highlights.

 Aya Sofya

Aya Sofya

For our first day, we went on a walking tour around the Old City.  We saw the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofia and the Hypodrome Square.

Before tackling the Grand Bazaar (where I managed to bargain for an hour with a man over a Turkish tea set), we stopped for lunch at a little Shish Kabob shop on a tiny side street.  Here we ate a Turkish lamb kabob with tomato bulgar, spicy red cabbage and doughy pita bread.  It was divine!

The spiciness was smoothed over by their traditional yogurt drink.

Our meal would have been incomplete without their angel hair dessert, thin and softened angel hair pasta drenched in honey...so simple...sooo tasty!

 Sea Bream and stuffed clams, calamari and tiny fried red mackerel....yum.

Sea Bream and stuffed clams, calamari and tiny fried red mackerel....yum.

On the second day, we took a boat out onto the Bosphorus and went to the Princes' Islands.  After a swim in the Sea and a stroll through the village on one of the bigger islands, we stopped for a fresh seafood lunch.

Our stay in Istanbul was far too short...but waiting for us was an Oasis of beauty at the Macakizi Hotel in Bodrum.  Breathtaking view after breathtaking view met us and sitting by the Aegean Sea, contrasting between the scorching sun and the refreshing salt water was enough for us.

Ending our trip in Bodrum was the perfect way to really rest and let the past couple of weeks soak in.  Although I could have stayed in this sanctuary forever, I find it is sometimes better to experience these places in spurts - then in no way do you find yourself ever becoming lazy in your appreciation for some of the most beautiful places on earth.

And sleep?? Definitely not needed when you have local Turkish Coffee to keep you going:)