Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Back to the Thai Life

Thailand to Turkey and Back Again

Traveling for four out of the last six weeks has been a lot of fun and filled with great people, adventures, and amazing sights. But it is nice to be back in Chiang Mai and have a chance to catch up on things, and be a little more productive.

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, has a castle in the city center that is around 2000 years old
It started with a week long trip to Cambodia, which I covered in the last blog post. Then I had a few days to unpack, wash clothes, and pack up as many cold weather items as I had to head for Turkey.

I was able to meet up with my sister in Turkey, and we spent a week traveling through Istanbul, and then to Prague.

Streets of Prague
Coming back from Prague, I stayed on in Turkey for another two weeks checking out the local sights in the city my sister lives in, and some other nearby attractions like Cappidocia.

Each location I visited had something new to explore, or often many new things to explore. I enjoyed the time in Istanbul for touring through the amazing historical buildings that seem to be on every corner. Every stop was at a building that had been standing in that location for hundreds, or more often, thousands of years.

We stayed very close to Galata Tower. And, although it was built in 1348, seemed so apart of everyday life that it couldn't be such a historical building. We strolled past it several times, and had coffee at a cafe just nearby.

It is amazing to me to imagine that little has changed as far as the floor plan of that area in hundreds of years, which probably explains the steep, narrow and windy cobblestone streets. For almost all of my life I have lived in cities that might have had a historical building or two, but the actual city was typically 50-100 years old (or at least the construction was).

Hiking Cappidocia on a snowy gray day
Prague, which was probably my favorite city, was also filled with historical buildings, castles, churches and bridges. There was also plenty of amazing food, coffee and other drinks. It was a nice balance, to go from sightseeing at a cathedral, to enjoying an espresso or latte in a warm cafe.

I unknowingly happened to make my travel plans for Turkey and Prague to coincide with the final week of serious winter. So it was a bit of a transition to go from 100 degree weather in Chiang Mai and Cambodia, to snow and freezing temperatures in Turkey and Prague. I generally like cold, but this was a drastic change. It didn't stop me from making a snowball or two.

The trip concluded with a couple weeks at a more relaxed pace in Turkey and a weekend trip to Cappidocia. We stayed in Goreme while checking out the completely unique and surreal place known as Cappidocia and I would recommend you look it up if you haven't heard of it. Hiking through and viewing the landscapes filled with towering columns of rock, each with a room, house or even church carved into them, was a sight I will not soon forget. Check it out, its worth it.

The whole trip was an exciting opportunity to get lots of practice taking pictures of new places and fun cities. I enjoyed the challenge of coming upon a nice setting and trying to figure out the best way to photograph it. Sometimes it worked out well, other times it didn't, but I learned several new things along the way. The best way to learn something is to practice it.

Well, this sort of covers what I've been up to lately. I hope you enjoy the pictures I took while on the adventure. I am really thankful that I had the chance to see Turkey, and visit my sister and Thankful the way God worked through many different situations throughout the trip.

I'm back to my normal routine volunteering with StopSlavery for a month or so, before another adventure might pull me across the globe again.

Thanks for visiting and leave a comment if you have thoughts or questions!

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