Friday, June 19, 2009


Hey all, well I'm completely enamored with Turkey - so yeah we're staying a bit longer. We actually took an overnight bus from Istanbul to Cappadocia, yes the bus ride was hellish but Cappadocia is so amazing. I am not sure if I can properly translate it into words - actually I'm sure I can't, but pictures will for sure come and I can not wait for you all to see them. I'll do my best to explain the splendor of Cappadocia for you now though.

Cappadocia is in Central Turkey, a desert with amazing rock formations formed by 3 volcanos in the area. Aside from incredible formations like fairy chimneys and chasms to rival the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon, this place is also home to cave dwellings. Around the 900s AD, Greek and Roman Christians moved into the area and began building edifices - churches, monasteries, homes, storage - from/in the rocks. People still live in the cave homes all over the area. Our hostel is actually in a cave, so yeah I'm sleeping in a cave tonight. There are a dozen or so small towns in the area with about 3000 people in each. Old cave churches filled with frescoes and paintings from a thounsand years ago dot the area, many are still in incredible condition. It is so crazy, the furniture was carved out of the stone. So you walk into a dining area and see benches carved out surrounding a big table also carved from the stone. They are everywhere too. I'm not doing them justice, this is SOOOO cool. Plus there are underground cities! I can't wait to put up the pictures. Of course, most of the residents are Muslim, so there are many mosques in the area. And we still get to listen to call to prayer ring out, this time it echoes through the rocks.

Really, I love Turkey so much. We'll stay here in Gorem (Cappadocia) another day and then head to the Turkish Riviera before we jump onto the Greek Islands. Off for more traditional Turkish food! Yeah, I love Turkish Delight, you know it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Turkish Fever

Okay this has to be super fast. We are in Turkey right now and İ am completely in love with it. FYİ İ apologize for any errors this is a foreign keyboard and a little tricky to use. Anyway we are in Istanbul. Today we headed into the courtyard of the Blue Mosque to listen to the calling to prayer. The call itself floating over the whole city from so many different mosques was already one of my most cherished memories this trip. But being in the actual mosque grounds of one of the most impressive mosques in the world and hearing the call ring out - beckoning the people, and then watching the Muslim men and women heed the call, come to kneel on rugs and pray was one of the most special, beautiful experiences of my entire life. My words do not do it justice. İ took a video, hopefully that will turn out. Anyway, since the last post we have made it from Slovakia through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. I loved Romania so much...I have never felt so completely out of my element yet at peace as İ have ın Romania. İ will definitely post more about all these places when İ get back - and of course pictures. Though we had a memory card malfunction and İ am a little scared İ may have lost about 1000 pictures :( We are off to more places in Turkey tomorrow - though we have not chosen where. Either Cappodocia ın central Turkey or Cannakle and the ruins of Troy. Then maybe more Turkey before heading to Greece to hop through the islands before maybe landing in Athens. İ can not believe how much we have seen so far and how much is still to come. Update more later.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer in Bratislava

Another quick post - I am LOVING Slovakia. Big surprise huh, I'll probably love everywhere I go. But so far I honestly feel like I could live here. It is so beautiful, and still has some of the fairytale aspect of Prague, but also it feels, like I can imagine my life here, not just visiting. It is so beautiful, everything is so green and it is so warm. I'm picking up a little Slovak, which has definitely helped as English is not as ubiquitous as in Prague. We live here so cheap, like 20 bucks a day including room and board.

Today we went to a castle ruins from the 10th century outside of Bratislava. It was so incredible - perched upon a hill, a lot of it still stands. We wandered the grounds, and the views were amazing - it overlooked the Danube, Slovakia and Austria. It was in a small town called Devín. The whole adventure, train and entrances cost as 2 euro. We're off to the Ballet right now, I'm so excited. And the clencher my ticket was 3 euro's...for a world renowned ballet in the historical downtown theater, surrounded by winding cobblestone streets, 18th century buildings and street vendors with yummy streets. Oh yeah, and the Danube bank.

We're off to Budapest tomorrow. I'm definitely excited to be getting closer to the coast. I have a feeling we might be in Turkey longer than we thought - doesn't the Turkish Riviera sound amazing. Once again, pictures to come when I get home. I'm faithfully taking like a million pictures - I'm pretty excited to look through them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Loving Prague.

A quick update. I'M IN PRAGUE. Everything has been like a dream. We made it through London already, and yes that was awesome, so vibrant with quite a nightlife and so much history. We of course did all the touristy things, Westminster, London bridge, Parliment, Buckingham palace, Hyde park etc. We also had a pretty good time with our Frenchie friends in out hostel. Which fyi, my first hostel experience, they are definitely a good, fun, cheap experience.

So I have like a million pictures already, but as of yet no way to load them as I forgot my you'll all have to wait for those. Anyway, Prague is just too much. I fall more and more in love with it everyday. It is so interesting, a great juxtapostion of history, arts, youth and old-timey, and night-life. We have experienced much of the city, including my favorite part thus far Josefov, the Old Jewish Quarter. Specifically, I really enjoyed the Pinkasova Synagouga and the Old Jewish Cemetary. The synagouge is hundreds of years old and has been turned into a Holocaust memorial, around 80,000 names of Jews from the Czech area who died in WWII are written on the walls. As I stepped in, I was quite overcome and humbled. The Old Jewish Cemetery is the oldest jewish cemetery surviving in Europe, as all others were destroyed by Nazis. This one was spared as Hitler wanted to turn it into some sick anti-semetic museum. Anyway, the headstones pile everywhere, and there is very little room left. As the grounds filled up, they would bring in more dirt and cover the cemetary and bury more people, but they moved the headstones up. So the graves are 12 deep in some places.

A close second to my favorite, is the John Lennon wall - I got a bit emotional here too. It is a wall covered in beautiful graffiti pictures, messages and love devoted to John Lennon. I heard that as the country was fighting oppression and communism, the youth rebellion (so to speak) took Imagine as an anthem, and Lennon is quite beloved here in the Czech. I randomly had a sharpie with me, so we were able to leave our own message as well. Some of my favorite pictures come from here. I can't wait to get them up.

Europe apparently never sleeps also, people are out at all hours. Already I missed 2 nights of sleep. Also, you can drink and smoke anywhere, so everyone does. People just drink as they stroll down the street. Bummer for me though: I'm feeling a bit sick, like if I was home I'd be in bed sick...which sucks. We have made a few friends here, so tonight the agenda is a 5 story club! The largest in central europe...a good time I'm sure, I hope I'm up for it. Well, I bought a mini tripod, so I'm off to take a few lovely night pictures of the Charles bridge and the castle before the festivities start.

Okay, I'm sorry if there are spelling errors - I really am a terrible speller (mostly I spell pheonetically, which is so often wrong) and all the internet sites are in everything comes up mis-spelled. Luckily I know this site and facebook so well so I can navigate them without knowing the language.

FYI we're off to Bratislava next, I'll keep you updated.

Na Shledanou (bye bye).