My 2008 journey into Turkey was the first time I went backpacking. Some of the most captivating moments in Istanbul and beyond include:
Walking around Istanbul in the rain. It was worth getting soaked in the rain so as to get a close-up look at the magnificent Blue Mosque, the opulent Topkapi Palace, the venerable Aya Sofya, and the ancient Basilica Cistern!!!
Being awed by the impressive ruins of the Library of Celsus and meeting the “Romans” in Ephesus.
Dipping into the gleaming travertine pools in Pamukkale
Sleeping under the stars on the rocky slopes of Mt Olympus. This was unplanned. It was just too tiring and dangerous to get down from the mountain in the dark after the climb of so many steps to watch Chimaera (a cluster of flames that burn spontaneously from crevices of rocks emitting methane and other gases).
Climbing up the fairy chimneys (huge stone mushrooms formed by volcanic materials and erosion) in Cappadocia. I had fallen into one of the “chimneys” and had thought that I would be paralysed for life. Luckily, I got lifted up from the “chimney” by others and just got several bruises and nothing else 🙂 The Byzantine murals inside the Göreme Open-Air Museum were amazing! For more information, see http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/cappadocia-goreme-cave-churches