Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back home...

Humble apologies for leaving my blog dangling for so long. However, many things have gotten in the way recently. Among other things, I just got back from 10 days in Turkey and it was completely different than what I expected! I had anticipated "roughing it" and problems with food and toilets. However, I was VERY wrong. In fact, here are a couple of photos from my hotel room near Ephesus. The water is the Aegean sea, and some of the land that you can see on the horizon are actually Greek islands. I expected a Muslim country to be very conservative, but instead, it was very European, with people wearing clothes/swimsuits that even here we would consider risque'. For instance, these two young men in speedos... who had any idea that miniature golf could be so fascinating?

Anyway, I won't bore you with a lot of photos and stories... I just hate it when people make you sit through their vacation pictures. However, there are a few things I want to share. First, almost everyone (at least in touristy places) speaks English. Many signs are in English, and most places accept Euro as well as Turkish Lira. The food is a little different, but anyone can find something- no heavy spices and lots of good cheeses and olives (yumm). All the hotels and many city areas had free Wi-Fi, however, I did not take a laptop so I was stuck using the hotels' "internet cafes." This brings me to one final observation... the computer keyboards in Turkey are totally different. Many of the letters look like they are in the same place, but are slightly different. The lowercase "I/i" does not have a dot, "C's" have a little tail on the bottom and there are a host of funky letters where punctuation belongs. And to make things worse, the @ sign that is in everyone's email address is hidden in some location that I never found. Needless to say, sending an email was almost impossible from there, especially if your login/passwork has one of those letters in it. Your computer doesn't think "oh, I bet she meant the i with the dot over the top".... it just IS the right letter or it's not.

Anyway, if anyone wants to know more about traveling to Turkey, I'd be happy to share. It was a beautiful, friendly country rich in history and I'd love to go back some day.


  1. I'm thinking about going to turkey this fall. What are the best things to bring with me?

    (Do they have soap over there?)

    - Alan

  2. Alan, I guess it depends where in Turkey you are going, but every place I was had soap, though many of the public toilets cost 1 YTL (one Lira). Every hotel had toiletries much like the US/Europe. I was warned to bring toilet paper, but I did not go anywhere where it was not available.
    The water is not drinkable, so be prepared to buy bottled water at every opportunity. And I would recommend taking anti-diarrhea meds as well as some broad spectrum antibiotic, just in case. You don't want to be on a bus with a GI problem.