My 25th Birthday in Turkey

When we arrived to Turkey our first
mission was to visit my dear friend Kayla. Her and her boyfriend are working on the border of Turkey and Syria. At that point our plan was to cycle West to Istanbul, so it made sense to head East to see Kayla first.

We also wanted to visit one of Turkey’s biggest attractions that was on that side of the country. Kayla encouraged us to visit Cappadocia.

Kyle and I decided the best way to visit Cappadocia, Kayla, and her boyfriend Rod, was to rent a car for a few days.

We took our time driving East along the Mediterranean Coast. We passed many tourist beaches, but also found many quiet beaches. After the crowds and resorts near Antalya, it was nice to have small beaches to ourselves.

The coast was absolutely beautiful! We spent my birthday swimming, eating and admiring the coastal beauty. I was looking forward to seeing Kayla the next morning.

Rod, Kayla, Kyle and I met in Adana. We all felt the heat, and agrees we would rather spend our day on the beach. We headed 40 km South to Karatas.

It was a lovely day relaxing in the sun. We swam in the warm sea for hours before finding a cafe for tea and hookah. Smoking hookah is a tradition in the Arabic culture… But we surprisingly didn’t come across any in Morocco.

Tea is another important part of both the Turkish and Moroccan cultures. Moroccan tea is full of
mint and sugar, while the Turkish tea is served black with sugar on the side. It was an interesting transition, and I found myself missing the sweet
mint tea.

The boys hunger set in and we decided to look for some dinner. We were all four had the conclusion that Turkish food is not the greatest…
Even the doners are awful. Instead of being served with homemade spicy & yogurt sauces, they are drowned in ketchup and mayonnaise. Nasty. Luckily Rob warned us of this and requested our doners without sauce.

It was dark by the time we finished eating, which meant it was time for
a fire show! The moon was full and absolutely stunning over the ocean. We found a good spot on the beach, blasted some music and danced away.

Rod took some awesome pictures of the day, which I will be sure to post when we return to the states. For now you only get to see the pics from my phone :).

We found a cheap apartment to accommodate the four of us for the night. It was surprisingly cheap for being right on the beach… If I remember right, it was around 35 USD for all of us.

The next day Kyle and I headed up
to Cappadocia. It was a beautiful drive, and we were both relieved
when the temperatures started dropping in the mountains.

We arrived just in time for the sun to set. The colors over the rock formations were really special, as was watching the bright moon rise. My phone’s camera couldn’t do it justice… So I will post some of Kyle’s pictures later on.

We drove down into the city with cheaper accommodation for the night. We stumbled upon a nice campground and took the opportunity to save a little money.

The next day we drove around to see the beautiful views, rock formations, caves, etc. We were amazed by the natural beauty and agreed it was one of the best places we have seen yet.

Our last stop in the region was Derinkuyu, an underground city! It was something I had never experienced before. I was seriously impressed with the size- it was four stories deep!

The Turkish used these types of underground cities during times of war throughout history. It had wine cellars, church rooms, food storage, living rooms, sleeping corridors, and anything else a city needs to function. It was great to overhear the tour guides revealing the history.

After Karatas, it was time to make our way back to Antalya to return the car. I had the perfect birthday weekend! Kayla is one of my dearest friends and years had passed since we crossed paths. We lived together in Flagstaff, and she has always been an inspiring role model for me.


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About MollyJo

Years of travel, transpired into a journey through the suffering world in search for the collective justice our society has forgotten. Images and stories through the eyes and heart of one global citizen.
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