Archive for the Turkey Category

Day 306 – Kusadasi, Turkey

Posted in Turkey on November 10, 2011 by jpomio

Our ship docked in Kusadasi at 9:00 am this morning. After enjoying a delicious buffet breakfast, we disembarked and began exploring this charming Turkish port town. We walked along the shore and through the various parts of the city. There was really not much to see in terms of historical sites. Kusadasi is basically a gateway to nearby Ephesus (which we already visited earlier during our stay in Selcuk) and a shopping mecca for “genuine fake watches”. In the afternoon we got back on the ship where we enjoyed cruise activities. Tonight’s headline show featured a hilarious comedian from the UK. We are in love with the great food and entertainment aboard!

(Various scenes from Kusadasi)


(Our cruise ship)




Day 305 – Istanbul, Turkey

Posted in Turkey on November 9, 2011 by jpomio

Since our ship set sail at 2:00pm, we had to wake up pretty early today to “seize the morning” and conclude our sightseeing of Istanbul. There was one more part of this amazing Turkish city which we wanted to explore before officially saying goodbye. We got our morning exercise by climbing up a hill to see the Galata Tower. Next we strolled down Istiklal Avenue and visited Saint Antoine Church and Taksim Square. We concluded our exploration by hiking back downhill to see the Dolmabahce Palace (although we did not have enough time to go inside). After a delightful morning of sightseeing, we got back on the ship where we enjoyed an abundance of AMAZING cuisine and entertainment.

(Galata Tower – 1384 AD)


(Saint Antoine Church)


(Dolmabahce Palace)


(Various scenes from Istanbul)




(“Cruising” on Vision of the Seas)


Day 304 – Istanbul, Turkey

Posted in Turkey on November 8, 2011 by jpomio

After checking out of our hotel this morning, we headed to the port to check into our Royal Caribbean Mediterranean cruise. Over the next 10 days, we will be slowly “cruising” our way towards Portugal (with many fun stops along the way). Once we checked in and grabbed a delicious lunch on the ship, we headed back to the city to continue our exploration. Today we discovered Istanbul’s shopping scene and visited the Basilica Cistern, an underground reservoir built in 537 AD for storing water. The Cistern was very large and impressive with its 336 columns. In the evening we returned to the ship for dinner and the “Welcome Aboard Show”. Please Note: our internet access on the ship is nonexistent so we’ll try to post our daily blog updates from in port IF we find a connection.

(Yeni Mosque)


(Egyptian Spice Bazaar)


(Beyazit Mosque)


(The Basilica Cistern)


(Various scenes from Istanbul)




Day 303 – Istanbul, Turkey

Posted in Turkey on November 6, 2011 by jpomio

We would like to begin this blog entry by wishing our grandpa (an incredible man) a Happy 91st Birthday! We love you and miss you grandpa! Hope you are having a wonderful Birthday. Ryan and I had an amazing day! Today was a TOTAL feast for our eyes. We began our exploration of Istanbul by visiting the Blue Mosque, an extremely impressive structure. The interior is beautifully decorated with over 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles. Just when we thought we’ve seen the city’s grandest edifice, we entered the Hagia Sophia and were completely blown away. Hagia Sophia is absolutely magnificent with its stunning mosaics and Byzantine architecture. It was built in 537 AD and has undergone an interesting transformation from an Eastern Orthodox basilica to a Mosque. We concluded our day by visiting the Topkapi Palace Museum. The Museum contains an unbelievably opulent collection of objects which belonged to the Sultans who ruled the Ottoman Empire. The Treasury was remarkable… I have never seen so many beautiful objects richly decorated with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

(Sultan Ahmed Mosque – a.k.a. the Blue Mosque)


(Hagia Sophia)


(Topkapi Palace Museum)




(Tonight’s dinner: chicken shish – so yummy!!!)


Day 302 – In transit to Istanbul, Turkey

Posted in Turkey on November 5, 2011 by jpomio

This morning we said goodbye to Canakkale and hopped on a bus to Istanbul. Our bus journey lasted a little under six hours. After we arrived at the Otogar bus station in Istanbul, we got on a metro and then a tram which dropped us off very close to our hotel in Old Istanbul. Since we pretty much spend the entire day in transit, I don’t have too many cool photos to share. We’re very excited about exploring Istanbul tomorrow as we have heard it is an amazing city.

(Our swagger wagon)


(Yeni Mosque – Istanbul)


Day 301 – Canakkale, Turkey

Posted in Turkey on November 4, 2011 by jpomio

Our original plan was to take a bus to Istanbul this morning but due to an Islamic festival taking place this weekend, all of the buses were completely full. We checked with five different bus companies and none had any open seats. Since we were unable to leave town today, we basically gained an additional day in Canakkale. Making the most of the situation, we visited the Naval Museum inside the Cimenlik Fortress (which was closed yesterday) and we walked around town some more. The Museum was very interesting and spending an additional day in a friendly Turkish city with many delicious restaurants was a treat.

(Cimenlik Fortress – Naval Museum)




Day 300 – Canakkale, Turkey

Posted in Turkey on November 3, 2011 by jpomio

This afternoon we explored Canakkale. We walked around the city visiting its various parts. On the seafront we got the chance to see the Trojan horse used in the filming of the blockbuster hit “Troy” (starring Brad Pitt). The horse was donated to the city after filming ended. Canakkale is located across from the Gallipoli peninsula, the site of a major campaign during WWI. Although we did not visit the Gallipoli peninsula, we did see and learn about the different naval weapons utilized during the war (Turkish mines, cannons, torpedoes, etc.).

(Various scenes from Canakkale)


(Kilitbahir Castle – 15th century)


(A park next to the Cimenlik Castle which showcases WWI weaponry)