Hello, Turkey!

Since we only planned the first few stops on our travel adventure, after Russia, the door was wide open to new ideas.

And so, we’re in Turkey. Turns out Turkey is a popular destination for Russian nationals and so flights to Turkey from Russia are direct and inexpensive.

Turkey was never on the radar before, but after studying up on it and bring reassured that it is a safe travel destination, we booked a flight and here we are.

It’s been exceptional so far. We had a little rain on our first day, but other than that it’s been warm day and night, but so far not overly hot.

A little rain on the first day, but still warm enough to swim

It’s beautiful.  Citrus trees, pomegranate trees, flowering shrubs. Mountains, beaches, and turquoise waters.

Lots of stray cats that are friendly and appear well-fed. My kids can’t leave them alone and give them all names. Margaret named one of them “Let It Ring Out”.

My kids can’t leave the cats alone. It takes forever to get anywhere.

The food is tasty, fresh, and inexpensive. Lots of fresh vegetables and olives. My family of five can dine for $10-15 per meal and so far everyone is happy with their options. The Turkish delight, baclava, and ice cream are all first rate, too.

Jane’s lunch
Traditional Turkish breakfast
I couldn’t resist trying a bowl of ram’s head soup. My dream job is to replace Andrew Zimmern as host of Bizarre Foods

We’ve spent a few days at the beach. The ocean is warm and the weather is perfect. The beach close to our place is a gravel beach, but we can also take a cab or bus to a sandy beach.

At the sandy beach
This is what the gravel beach is like

The kids have been able to catch frogs and lizards, so the trip to Turkey is worth it in Nolan’s eyes. On our walk back home from dinner today, Jane spotted a hedgehog. It was dark and we couldn’t get a photo, but we’re all pretty excited about the hedgehog.

This one is dead, but it’s some kind of huge centipede
Jane caught this little tiny lizard
Nolan caught this skink
Couldn’t get a great image of this frog as it was dark, but it had red spots

Today was Margaret’s birthday, so happy birthday to the happiest, least-complainingest, eats-everythingest, best 3-year-old traveler I’ve ever even heard of.

Typical mood for Margaret–she’s up for anything

We went on an organized tour today and saw some beautiful waterfalls, spent a little time in old town, took a short boat ride, and rode a cable car up into the mountains.

Waterfall into the Mediterranean
This waterfall is from a giant underwater spring in a limestone cave
The water was very turquoise
Street market in old town
View from the boat ride
Cable car up the mountain
View from the mountain

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