I Have Found Heaven and It’s Kabak Valley

Posted on Dec 8, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 4 Comments
I Have Found Heaven and It’s Kabak Valley

Down on Turkey’s southwest coast, past Fethiye and Oludeniz with its swarms of sun-baked British tourists, there is a valley that holds heaven. It’s not easy to get there. Flying into the Dalaman airport is followed by an hour-long bus ride to Fethiye, an even longer transfer to the top of the valley, and finally […]

A Bicycle Is Freedom: Four Days Around Lake Iznik

A Bicycle Is Freedom: Four Days Around Lake Iznik

To me, a bicycle is freedom. Traveling under your own speed feels completely liberating. Pushing past inclines, breezing downhill, the relentlessness of forward motion, and the physicality of biking instills a meditative repetitiveness. All for the purpose of propelling from A to B. It was Nacho who dreamed up the bicycle trip. We sat on […]

Difficulties in Diyarbakir

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 7 Comments
Difficulties in Diyarbakir

It is not unusual to meet Turks in Istanbul who have never been farther east than Ankara, the capitol in the center of the country. Turkey is large, but it’s not gigantic, so the common refrain of Turks who haven’t experienced half of their homeland could seem a little bizarre. To understand why, it’s important […]

Mardin, The Most Marvelous City in Southeast Turkey

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 2 Comments
Mardin, The Most Marvelous City in Southeast Turkey

Mardin. MARDIN. I was not expecting Mardin. Southeast Turkey was not only different from all the other places I’d been in the country, but every city was wildly dissimilar from the one before. Mardin was no exception. It was completely unlike Hasankeyf, and unlike Urfa, and unlike Halfeti. Mardin was nothing like what I imagined. […]

Go To Hasankeyf Before Hasankeyf Goes

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 in Culture, Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 9 Comments
Go To Hasankeyf Before Hasankeyf Goes

In March, I dreamed I went to Hasankeyf. It was one of those vivid dreams that seem like prophecies, dreams that don’t reflect what has happened, but what will be. I pay attention to my dreams. I would go to Hasankeyf, and I would go soon. Because soon, I wouldn’t be able to. I knew […]

Queen of the Euphrates in Halfeti

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 6 Comments
Queen of the Euphrates in Halfeti

The day trip debacle to Harran left me in a pickle. Harran hadn’t been a part of my original Trapped in Turkey itinerary. The day trip I REALLY wanted to do from Urfa was to Halfeti, a drowned town famous for its black roses, Euphrates boat rides, and submerged minaret. Halfeti, however, is nearly two […]

A Day Trip and a Big Mistake

Posted on Sep 5, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 2 Comments
A Day Trip and a Big Mistake

It was actually a terrific day, until it ended. But even the best day can go bad, when you realize you’ve been had. It was the first day trip from  Urfa, and it really was an excellent one.  Once we recognized that we’d been suckers, though, the memories of the day soured. It makes the […]

Sanliurfa: Urfa The Glorious

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 14 Comments
Sanliurfa: Urfa The Glorious

When I arrived in Urfa, I realized that this trip would be special. The city was my third stop in as many days and the first place I planned to linger. I wanted to take a handful of day trips, and I’d heard only good things about Urfa. Still, I wasn’t expecting to be immediately […]

The Awe Of Mt. Nemrut

Posted on Aug 4, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 6 Comments
The Awe Of Mt. Nemrut

The heads sit severed on peak of the mountain. An eagle, a lion, a king. Their noses are scraped away, their decapitated bodies loom above them, perched on thrones. An artificial hump of mountain top emerges behind the headless forms. As the sun rises, the sharp light illuminates the golden mound– rumor is the mountain […]

The Trapped In Turkey Tour Ends

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 in Turkey, Turkey (excluding Istanbul) | 6 Comments
The Trapped In Turkey Tour Ends

The Trapped in Turkey Tour is over. The tour was technically only three weeks long, but it felt like months. Maybe because of the breakneck pace. Or maybe because of the wild variety of sights. Whatever the reason, this tour has been one of the most fascinating trips I’ve ever taken. Most of the places […]