After Cappadocia, Krista and I temporarily parted ways with Mike. He wanted to spend a few days in Istanbul as he had never been there before. Since we had spent a lot of time in Istanbul a few years ago, Krista and I decided to check out Olympos in the south. We took an overnight bus (which broke down, of course!) and then a mini bus to get to Olympos Orange Pensions.
Olympos is known for its treehouse accommodations, but from what we read, they're a bit over-rated. So we decided to stay in a tiny room with AC which turned out to be a great choice. The pension had a nice big courtyard to hang out in and communal dinners which were included in the accommodation fee. It was so nice to not have to worry about dinner each night! The dinners had lots of different options and were really tasty. The staff members were also really helpful and ended up not charging us for a lot of stuff (free lunch & snacks!) so I will give them a ringing endorsement.
We hung out by the nearby beach one afternoon but then decided to go on a boat trip the following day. We signed up for one through our pension and it was just what we were looking for - simple, laid back, and lots of opportunities to jump off the boat and swim in that turquoise water. And oh yeah, an ice cream boat!
One blustery morning in Cappadocia, we got up well before the dawn, bundled up, and got in a hot air balloon. The landscape below us was gorgeous, the lighting was amazing as the sun came up, and the hot air balloons around us seemed so magical. I had been told that we simply could not skip this in Cappadocia. So glad we took that advice.
Hello again! I'm happy to be back share some of our summer travel photos. At the end of June, Mike headed to Israel for a week and I showed my mom around Korea (film photos from Mike's time in Israel to come!). We then met up with our friend Krista in Turkey. Krista and I traveled to Turkey in 2010 (see old posts here!) but were keen to come back to visit some of the spots we had missed the first time. First on the roster was Cappadocia!
I have been wanting to see Cappadocia ever since I saw it on Julia & Yuriy's blog (Gemma also has some great photos). Cappadocia is home to some wild rock formations called fairy chimneys as well as underground churches and cities. We stayed at Shoestring Cave House (as recommended by Gemma) and loved it. The owner was so helpful and we thoroughly enjoyed the pool! Over the course of a few days, we did the Rose Valley hike, the Open Air Museum, and the "green tour" through our hostel (hitting up Derinkuyu Underground City, Ilhara Valley, Selime Monastery and Pigeon Valley). Cappadocia is quite unlike we have ever been before and I highly recommend it.
Coming up next - a hot air balloon over the fairy chimneys!
Shot with Canon EOS 3 and Kodak Portra film
It rained a lot when we were in Tokyo. It was hard to maintain an upbeat attitude during the torrential downpours so it doesn't really stand out as a favourite travel destination. We are actually planning on going back for a little bit in the fall so hopefully we luck out with some better weather.
Hiroshima was extremely moving. I knew it was likely going to be really depressing (and it was) but the museum and the city of Hiroshima also push a huge message of peace. The mayor of Hiroshima writes each world leader every single time they do a nuclear test. Hundreds of letters are posted in the museum, including many to George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
In grade four, I learned about Japan and Sadako and became a bit obsessed. Little bits of what I had learned kept coming back to me throughout our time in Japan. It was really touching to see these tiny little paper cranes that had actually been folded by Sadako herself. Thousands of paper cranes are now sent to Hiroshima and are displayed throughout the memorial grounds.
We also made a day trip to Itsukushima Shrine. It was again a bit drizzly and we ended up having a really silly fight while we were there. It was the first thing Mike and I thought of when going through these film photos. It was still a neat thing to see even if I wasn't in the best of spirits!
That's it for Japan! Our summer adventures begin this weekend! Looking forward to coming back here with Mike's photos from Israel and our collective photos from Turkey and Morocco. See you in September. xx
Our holidays managed to align perfectly with sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan. Similar to going to Hong Kong during Chinese New Year, it was both a blessing and a curse. Of course it was unbelievably beautiful, but it also meant accommodations were booked solid and it was busy everywhere. But flowering trees are kind of my jam, so in this case I say - worth it!
Tokyo up next!
At the beginning of April, Mike and I headed to Japan for a week. It was high time we went there since it's so close and flights are so cheap! My school holidays aligned perfectly with cherry blossom season which was lovely. However, it was also incredibly rainy which made it a more difficult trip at times. Here are a few shots of spots in and around Kyoto - Fushimi Inari Shrine, Nara to visit the deer, geisha spotting in Gion, and Arashiyama bamboo forest.
We're getting on a plane for Japan tonight, so I thought I'd throw up a few more shots of HK before we leave. We loved wandering around the artsy neighbourhoods of Soho and Central (pictured in the last post) and checking out the bird and flower market. I was surprised to feel right at home in the Stanley market area. It felt just like North America. I know most people wouldn't desire that during a trip to Asia, however, it's been six months since the last time we were home, so it just felt so good! Give me a boardwalk and a patio and I'm a happy woman.
Check out all 3000 of our Hong Kong photos in four minutes over here! (Nicely done, Mike!)