Turkey, September 2015
A window in Tom's universe.
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Tom Ballard Photography
As I write this message, it is late August, and on Sept 2, 2015, I will leave on my Second big
adventure for this year!! I did a little test run in July to test my fitness, all was good, and now I
have been to Scotland and back.. I traveled well, so....   In January of this year, I started the year
with plans to go to Vietnam on Feb 2, but life changed that plan. I went in for a heart cath test on
Jan 13, thinking I might need a stent, because on Jan 6, the ECHO stress test showed something
not right.. Well, my Vietnam trip went out the window when the doctor told me I was not going
anywhere for at least 90 days. I went almost directly from the cath test to the surgery room. The
doctor had found a couple of serious blockages, one he called the Widow Maker... It had to be
fixed now!!!! I woke up that night in the ICU, with a new double by-pass in my chest.. Was quite a
shock!!! But, I survived it, and have pushed hard to get me back in shape and on the road again!!!
In early June, I think, I was given permission to start traveling again, with a 50 pound lifting limit!!!
NO heavy suit cases!! Not a problem, I travel with a carry on and a camera! So, in short order, I
had three new trips arranged for the rest of this year!!! One of them will be the Vietnam/Cambodia
trip I missed due to the heart surgery!!!! I have now completed the Scotland Adventure, August
3-13, and I am now ready to do trip number two!!! This adventure will be to Turkey, Sept
2-15....!!! Should be great fun, according to people who have already completed this adventure!

Now it is almost time for me to leave on my first second adventure for 2015!!!

For my second adventure, I will be going to Turkey!!!! I leave home on Sept 2 and return on Sept
15. For my friends and family who wish to follow along, I am sitting up this page to help you do just
that.. I have tried this model for tracking before, it seemed to work, so I am continuing to use it...

If everything works according to my plan, the following steps should let you share the trip with me.

There are actually two parts to following me as I travel.. One is to watch my location via a tracking
map. To view the tracking map with my location, use the link below, "Travel 2015".... !!!  Second is
via my itinerary, which will be shared on this page.

1. While traveling, I will be carrying a SPOT satellite reciever/transmitter which will collect GPS
signals, calculate my position , then share my position on a web page, via the SPOT network. For
the techies in the group, the website for SPOT is

2. I am sharing the daily itinerary that was provided to me by my travel company,
www.smartours.com . This is my sixth trip with this company. First trip was to China and it was
great.. Now I am off to try a sixth adventure with them. The tour company's link for this trip is:
Select "Itineary" to see the advertised version of the itinerary..

3. By checking their map and looking at the itinerary, provided below, you should have a fair idea
of what I am doing at any given time.

4. I am not sure how the map will show the date and the time while I am gone, so, a quick search
of the internet will bring you up to date...My info says that noon in Chicago will be 8:00 PM in
For a map of my last seven days of travel, click this link: Travel 2015
Note: This trip officially starts and ends in New York.
Note... I will have limited ability to share images from the trip as it happens, but I plan to do
my usual trip report when I get back, so, watch for that later!!! .....
Note: The map will only
share the most current
seven days of information.
After a point has been on
the map for seven days, it
is then deleted.

You may have to adjust
the ZOOM  to view the
map. Use the slider on the
left side to do this..

To check the date, time,
and GPS coords, for any
given MARKER on the
map, click on the little
balloon at the point, or
click the little "+" sign to
the left of the point, in the
list, called messages.

Also, in the message list,
you can click on the little
orange ball, and the
system will take you to
that MARKER, on the
Remember Mark Twain's Quote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-
mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad,
wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating
in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
This site is BEST viewed in GOOGLE CHROME!!!!
If the map does not work well for you, or any other issues crop up that you need help with, please
contact me at ballardtom@sbcglobal.net. I should have email service while traveling!
The images for this trip are shared below
The follow message is left here for historical reasons, whatever that means, but it is the
message I had posted on this page prior to my going on the adventure.. So I leave it here,
just for fun, and it helps complete the experience, from start to finish...
Wow, what an adventure!!! There are some things in life that just have to be experienced to have any
feeling for what it is like!!! Before actually going on this adventure, I read related material, I looked at a
lot of photos, and I talked to people who had been there.. All this helped, but now, I can tell my readers
that all the info I got barely scratched the surface of the real experience.. The material I had read, left
out a lot of details that would pull the whole experience together. The photos I looked at were the
tourist type that only showed the postcard shots of everything, and most people who had been there,
had no words to describe their experience, except to say it was AWESOME.. That is not a very good
description, until you do it yourself, then you understand the word AWESOME.. No matter what anyone
tells you about any place, to really know what it is like, you have to go there and see it for yourself..
And, this could not be more true than in Turkey.

I saw the photos, I read the material, I asked the questions, to include possible dangers in the area,
given the issues in this part of the world. The only thing left to do was go see for myself, and I did. I
loved it!!!! It was an awesome experience. Now, like the people who could not find words to describe
the experience, I feel their pain, it is hard to describe.. There is so much to see and experience.. Our
tour was on the go from daylight til after dark most days, and we barely scratched the surface of what
was there... We saw history, we saw people, we saw religion, we saw vast areas of agriculture, we
saw industry, we saw beauty, we saw things not so beautiful, we saw the poor, we saw the rich, we
ate poor food, we ate awesome food, and, we came home happy and too tried to walk for a few
days!!! Now that is an adventure!!!! All summed up, we had a really good time.. The biggest mystery
that still is not answered is how do those people stay so thin, and they are thin!!! Eating is the national
pass-time.. This really is a mystery.. There are more places to eat in Turkey than any place I have ever
been to.. The number of places to eat is just beyond the imagination.. Truly, eating has to be the
national pass time, and almost everyone is super thin!!! How can people eat so much and still be super
thin!????? The question was never answered, but most likely it is the quality of the food they eat. We
saw very little junk food, and almost no processed foods.. All foods were pretty much direct from the
fields to the table..

Speaking of food, they grow a lot of food in Turkey. We saw miles and miles of crops being grown
along the highways.. The thing that caught my attention was the miles and miles of green houses!! In
some areas, green houses were all over the place.. It would seem that by using green houses, they can
grow fresh products almost year around.. In our stores, most of the store is filled with processed
foods. In their stores, most of the store is filled with fresh food products!!!!!

The bottom line is that this adventure was really awesome. Was an amazing experience.. I could go
back very easily!!! And, on this trip, we had a great guide, and a great bus driver, who loved his new
bus.. For this adventure, we were on a brand new Mercedes coach that was reported to cost 300,000
dollars in US dollars.. Our driver kept it super clean all the time!! This included the windows, so that
people like me could take photos through all of them!!!! This was much appreciated by the photogs like

Ok, the trip is over, but will never be forgotten!!! Not only was Turkey a great experience, but so was
the people I traveled with. I think we got lucky in that we had such an outstanding group of people.
They all impressed me!! It was almost as if the best of the best had been picked to do this trip
together!! Needless to say, I, and others made some really neat new friends on this trip.. The neat
people on this trip was just icing on the cake!!! You will meet them if and when you view the photos!!!
Speaking of photos, most people who have visited my site before, know that I tell my travel stories
more in photos than in words. On this trip, I came home with just over 15,000 images to sort through,
which will take quite awhile, but I have started, and I have started adding them to this page, so if you
are ready to dive into the trip, start by looking over the material that was provided to me, then move on
down to the photo section and view the slide shows.. I will have them set up by day, to more easily
follow the action!!!! So, get started!!!! I do not know yet how many images will survive the editing, but it
is sure to be a large number, so be prepared!!!!
September 2...  Today I leave my home base and head for istanbul, Turkey.
September 3...  Today I arrive in Istanbul.
September 4...  We visit the Spice Market, Sophia Museum, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, and a cruise
This set shares the first day of my Turkey Adventure.. On this day, I leave home base and travel to NYC, where
I catch the flight that will take me to Istanbul.. Istanbul will be the beginning and ending points of my adventure
in Turkey.....

This the official second day of this adventure.. This day starts somewhere over the ocean, just after
midnight.... The flight will arrive in Istanbul, I will meet my guide for the adventure, then I will meet the
rest of the people who will be a part member of this adventure....  We take the bus to our hotel, we
check in, we get a welcome dinner, then we crash!!! Was a long day.. Tomorrow is our first real day
of exploring...  

Part 1..
This is my first full day in Turkey. The day was so action packed that I divided the memories into two sets..
Actually, I could have gotten all the memories in one set, but I would have missed a lot of detail by doing so..
For my own memories and for people who have never been to Istanbul, Turkey, I chose to save the details.. In
Part 1, we visit the Spice Market, the Hagia Sophia Museum, and the Basilica Cistern.

Part 2..
This is the second half of the images from this day!! It was a jam packed day, so I had to divide the
day into two parts!!! In the second half of our day, shared here, we will eat lunch the Pudding Shop,
visit the Grand Bazaar, take a boat tour, called the Bosphorus Cruise, then I will go out for an
awesome dinner!!!

September 5...  Today I leave Istanbul and travel to Ankara.
Today we leave our first hotel in Turkey and head for our second,  in Ankara. This morning we leave Istanbul,
and head cross country on our big adventure. On this leg of the trip, we get our first views of the landscape in
Turkey and the vast amount of fresh fruits and vegetables available. When we arrive in Ankara, our first stop will
be the Mausolem of Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic. Next, we will stop at the
Anatolian Civilization Museum, then it is on to our hotel. Once settled in, several of us found our way to a local  
restaurant, Adana,  where we had an wonderful evening meal. English is barely spoken here, so ordering was a
bit of a challenge, but we were able to manage!!! So, if English speaking people visit Turkey, be prepared for the
language challenge.. This should improve with time and wider use of the internet...  

The shared images for this adventure are at the bottom of this page!!!!
September 6...  Big Omelet Breakfast, a salt lake, a fancy bus, a fancy bathroom,
            an Underground City, and a rug factory.. What a day!!!
WOW, what a day... We started the day with an awesome breakfast at our Swissotel Hotel in Ankara. On top of
the already awesome food in the buffet, Seref brought me a huge omelet, which was amazing!!! Hated to leave
this hotel, but we did.. Today we are doing a lot of cross-country travel, on our new Mercedes Dream Bus!!!
Today, we will travel a lot, but we will see some super country and visit some really neat points of interest. First
amazing thing to see is the huge salt lake!!! It seemed to go on forever!!!! The photos barely do it justice!!! At
one of our rest breaks, we see the most fancy bathroom I have ever been in.. You have to see this in the photos
to believe it!!! We visited an Underground City!!! It was all carved by hand!!! I still cannot believe people did
this!!!!! Then, we stopped by a rug factory, where I watched people making the famous Turkish Rugs.. It is a
very slow process, which explains the very high prices.. It takes months to years to make one!!!!!! And, at the
end of the day, we arrive at our hotel, The Dinler, in Cappadocia. Tomorrow is a big day for me, and others, as
we will get to take the famous balloon rider over Cappadocia country side.. Will be my first balloon ride....

September 7... Balloon Ride, City in Stone, Underground Museum, Ceramics Factory,
                        Whirling Dirmishes
Part 1...
Part 2...
Part 3...
Today we up super early, around 0300. We are picked up by the balloon company at 0500, I think,
then we are off to the balloon ride.. We got to see the balloons complete the setup process, then we
loaded in and we were gone!!! 24 people plus the pilot in each basket.... The trip was perfectly timed
to get us in the air and flying before sunrise. We floated down a canyon, through the rock formations,
and past trees so close people could reach out and touch them!! Was an awesome experience.. At
one point we dropped back near the ground for a chance to meet some people, then we went high to
see the sunrise!!! Then it was back near the ground for a bit more flying.. The funny part was, we had
been given a leaflet on how to land, in an emergency!! I think most of us thought we would have a very
involved landing of some kind... But, as it turns out, we had a big surprise waiting for us!!!! The pilot
landed our balloon on the trailer!!!!!!! This was followed by a ride on the trailer. With us in the basket,
a truck pulled us around the parking area to a place where they wanted to do the photos, champagne,
cake, etc... What a surprise, and a great ending to my first balloon ride!

This will be Part 2 of our adventure today. These photos will be after the balloon ride and through lunch!!! In
this part we will visit a city carved in rock, then an underground museum, of sorts. Then, we stop for lunch...
Only the photos can tell the story, so enjoy!

This is the after lunch portion of this day of adventure.. Was a full of action packed exploring!!! The highlights
of the this part is the visit to the ceramics factory, then the Whirling Dirmishes Show, which was an extra fee

September 8... Bus ride from Cappadocia, to Konya, to Antalya, on Mediterranean Sea
Part 1...
Part 2...
Today, we leave Cappadocia and do a long bus ride across country. Our destination will be Antalya, on the
Mediterranean Sea... Along the way, we will pass though mountains, farmland, and stop at various points of
interest... I have divided this day into two sets.. This set goes up to lunch, the second starts with our stop for
lunch and continues on to Antalya.

This set includes our lunch this day and the rest of the bus ride to our hotel in Antalya. We did a lot of
riding, but saw really neat views in the mountains.. At one point we stopped in the mountains for a
short photo op....  And, we stopped at a roadside stand, where Oguz treated us to some bananas...
The hotel we are staying in is amazing.. It is on the beach, but I will learn later, there is no beach.. It
does have a beautiful pool by the hotel.. But, the food here was very good, and is served in the most
amazing dining areas I have ever been in.. You will have to see all the photos to understand.. And,
later you will see the "rotating" building by the pool.. Our honeymoon couple, Karri and
Sayyed , go to stay there... Said it was really neat! The one thing I have seen in this country, and the
others I have been traveling to, is that they serve real food.. It is not the chemical food like we have
back home... And, as a result, the people here are not fat... The food quality seems to be the
answer.. No antibiotic beef and chicken here... Also, in my room, I found my first double use door. It
had a center hinge that allowed it close off the potty room, or close off the entire bathroom..

September 9... We visit an ancient city, the archaeology museum, and an ancient theater
September 10...
September 11...
September 13...
September 12...
September 15... We fly home...... Great trip..!!!!!!!!

This set will share our last hours in Turkey, the flight back to New York City, and then my flight back to my
home airport....
In a short, we had to get up around 0230, get our bags out early, then go downstairs to get a bite to eat.. We
did not know what to expect for food, as we were eating before the buffet opened.. It turned out neat.. The
hotel made snack plates for each of us, plus set out the juices, etc.. After the food, we were off to the airport,
said our goodbyes, and away we went.. Was fun to watch our trip progress on the monitor.. And, for taking off
and landing, we could watch the events via a camera on the nose of the plane.. We had free drinks on the
wine and beer, so the girls and I did the party thing, to pass the time.. We also got two meals served to us
while in the air... Was pretty good eating!!!
Back in NYC, I grabbed the shuttle over to LGA, where I caught my direct flight back to St Louis... If I fly to JFK,
I have to go through Chicago.. That is a hassle.. But, I can do a direct flight to LGA, then do a 14 dollar shuttle
to JFK, and I have bypassed the Chicago problem.. Same for the return. In short, I got home safely and brought
with me lots of photos and many great memories!!! Was an awesome trip with some really neat people... I
recommend this trip.

September 14...
Part 1...
Today some of us do some exploring that we had to pay extra for!! For some reason Smartours, our tour
company, chooses to charge for what should be included, but that is a different subject. Bottom line is that if you
want to see some really neat stuff, you have to pay extra for it, and in this set I am sharing the first part of the
things we paid extra to see. In this set you get to see the most amazing dining room I have ever been in. Tis a
very large area with swings, computers, scribble art, pool table, and the list goes on.. Then, we are off to see
ruins, the first stop will the Ancient City of Perge. The stone work in these old cities is just amazing, almost
beyond what words can tell.... Hope you enjoy your visit.. I included a lot of images, trying to make you feel like
you have been there!!! I include a lot of detail photos... And, this was one of our hottest days on this trip!! We
about roasted here!! But, visiting this old city was worth the struggle with the heat.

Part 2...
Part 3...
This the second of three sets for this day... In set this we arrive at a place that looks like it has a long
history, and it has many names!!! I think I found it referred to by three different names!! One name is
Pamukkale, another is the Herapolis Orenyeri, and the third is Hierapolis Archaelogical Site.. Take your
choice.. But, in a short, we arrived, walked a good distance to an area that appeared to be a mineral
spring(s), where the mineral content of the water has formed a wide range of pools and shapes that
are of much interest to visitors!!! Next to this is a "tourist" pool called the Antique Pool,
which you must pay an extra to see and to swim in.. I did not take this option, I preferred to spend my
time watching the paragliders coming down from the mountains, hauling customers to the valley below!
Then, at the prearranged time, we all met our guide outside the pool, and were lead on a hike back to
our bus, on a road through the many ruins of the past.. Seems that most of what we saw was old
tombs!!! Whatever the place was, it is now in shambles, but is neat... They are trying to re-construct
the place... At the end of the hike, we exit the park to our bus, and continue our journey to Izmir.. In the
next, and last, set we will finish our bus ride to Izmir.

This is the last set for this day.. We had such a long day that I chose to divide it into three parts... In
this part, we visit the Antalya Archaeology Museum, and we drive back to our hotel, where many in
our group go check out the "beach" which is really not a beach by my standards, but they
call it a beach.. Check out the photos and see what I mean... That said, it is kinda neat, in a different
sort of way, and the method to get there is very unique!!! Never rode and elevator to the beach

Part 1... Leave Antalya, ride bus to Pamukkale.
In this set, we travel from Antalya to Pamukkale. The images share the views from our bus as we journey
towards our final destination of Izmir.. In the next set this day, we will stop at Pamukkale to view one of the many
ancient areas we encounter while on our adventure in Turkey..

Part 2...Visit terraces and ruins at Pamukkale
This the second of three sets for this day... In set this we arrive at a place that looks like it has a long history,
and it has many names!!! I think I found it referred to by three different names!! One name is Pamukkale,
another is the Herapolis Orenyeri, and the third is Hierapolis Archaelogical Site.. Take your choice.. But, in a
short, we arrived, walked a good distance to an area that appeared to be a mineral spring(s), where the mineral
content of the water has formed a wide range of pools and shapes that are of much interest to visitors!!! Next to
this is a "tourist" pool called the Antique Pool, which you must pay an extra to see and to swim in.. I
did not take this option, I preferred to spend my time watching the paragliders coming down from the mountains,
hauling customers to the valley below! Then, at the prearranged time, we all met our guide outside the pool, and
were lead on a hike back to our bus, on a road through the many ruins of the past.. Seems that most of what we
saw was old tombs!!! Whatever the place was, it is now in shambles, but is neat... They are trying to
re-construct the place... At the end of the hike, we exit the park to our bus, and continue our journey to Izmir.. In
the next, and last, set we will finish our bus ride to Izmir.

Part 3... Travel from Pamukkale to Izmir
In this set we journey from Pamukkale to Izmir, we check in to our new hotel, the DoubleTree, get our famous
warm chocolate chip cookie, and we settle down to a buffet style dinner at the hotel.. Trip was neat, got to see
more farm country, and some amazing new buildings as we came into Izmir. And, the dinner was pretty good, plus
my room had a bidet toilet, which I love!!!! But, the carpet in my room was the worst I have seen in any of our
hotels... You will see a part of it in my photos!!!! Must have had animals living in there!!!
Tomorrow, we are off to see more famous ruins!

Part 1..  Drive to Ephesus and start tour
Today we have a long day of visiting a historical site, a religious site, and we visit a leather clothing company,
then we return to our hotel in Izmir.. OH, and we stop and do lunch.. The cost of the  lunch is not included in
the trip, so we will be paying for that out of pocket... That said, it is good that we were all together to do
lunch... On some trips, we have just been dumped in a small town or something and told we have 45 minutes
to find food!!! That did not happen on this trip. If food was not included, then most often we were still offered a
chance to share the meal, even if we were paying out of pocket... Due to the long day, and the counting
system on my camera, I divided this day into three parts.. The counter on my camera ends at 9,999, then starts
over with number 0001...!!! The last photo in this group is image number 9,999...!!! In this set we eat
breakfast, board the bus, drive to Ephesus, and start our tour, lead by our very own Oguz... He is amazing
knowledgeable about all the places we visited!!! No local guide needed!!!!

Part 2...  Complete tour of Ephesus
The Part 2 of a three set day!!! In this set all images are at Ephesus.

Part 3...  Visit House of Virgin Mary, then to Rossini Leather for show and shopping.
In this set, the last of three for this day, we travel from Ephesus, then to the House of Virgin Mary. Next on our
list is a stop at the Rossini Leather store, where we see models present some of the leather clothes for sale, and
some of our people are pulled in to model a few items, which added great fun to the experience....  From the
leather shop we traveled back to our hotel and called it a day!!!!!

Part 1...  Leave Izmir, travel to Bergama Acropolis
This morning we leave our DoubleTree Hotel in Azmir and head for Canakkale. Along the way we will stop to
visit more historical real estate. Our program says we visit Pergamum on our way to Canakkale.. My ticket
gave the name of the historical site as Bergama Acropolis Archaeological Site.. I am not sure which names
goes with which point of interest, but the site we saw was neat.. It is a charge to my mind to see the ruins and
try to imagine how it was built and what it must have looked liked in its prime.. It seems that what these people
did with stone would have been near impossible, comparing their tools and engineering to ours now..

Part 2...  Do lunch, travel to Canakkale, watch awesome sunset
In this set we continue our journey towards Canakkale. After lunch we watch through the bus windows as the
farmland, the homes, and buildings, which make up the Turkish life here, pass us by.. It is amazingly
interesting to just sit and watch, almost like a movie. Then as the day nears its end, we arrive back at the
Mediterranean Sea, and our new home, the Iris Hotel. It is here that we will watch the best sunset on the trip, I
think... I took a lot of images as the sun set, and even after editing many of them out, there are lots left, but it
lets you watch as this awesome sight starts, develops, and then is over.... After the sunset, it is off to dinner
and getting ready for tomorrow!!! OH, and I almost forgot one of the most important parts, when I arrived at the
hotel, I signed up for a Turkish Bath, not even knowing what I was getting into!!! Turned out to be awesome.
There was some misunderstanding though.. I requested the 90 minute option that was available.. It turned out
to be less, and I would not pay or tip for the missing time.. The lady collecting the money agreed, so there was
no problem, but I was surprised they would try to short me... Might have been an innocent misunderstanding..
Don't know!

Part 1... We leave Canakkale, visit the city of Troy, see the Trojan Horse, ride a ferry
Time to move again!! This morning we pack up and leave Canakkale and head for Istanbul, the starting point
of this adventure. Our first stop this day will another archaeology site. This one is well known to most of us as
the place where the Trojan Horse story sprang from.. I never did leave if it was a real thing, or just a story, but
the horse on display here is pretty neat... But, what was even more impressive to me was the stone carvings I
found here.. A lot of the stone work here is almost primitive, and is about what I would have expected for this
time in history, but there is so stone work that is just off the scale.. I cannot think of anything harder to do than
carve inside corners and get them perfectly square.. I found it here.. I also found it in Peru, last year.... Another
odd thing to notice is the mix of poor rock work, and expert rock work, mixed...
After the history visit, we put our bus on a ferry and do a water crossing.. On the other side, we scratch around
and find some food... This for me is still one of the low points of these tours, and that is turning tourists lose in
a strange place, where English is not spoken well, and telling the tourists to go feed themselves.... Not a fun
thing to do.. Very uncomfortable.. Yes, we can survive, but not fun.... I did join Al and Jenny in a local food
place, and was able to get a good meal, with Oguz's help. He roamed from place to place, helping members of
our group place orders.. I am not sure he got anything to eat, as he was walking around to all the local cafes
finding our people and making sure  they had found food.. Why we did not just all eat together is a mystery to
In the next set we will complete our journey to Istanbu, and we will go out for our farewell dinner..

Part 2... We journey cross country to Istanbul, we go to our farewell dinner
In this set, we complete our journey across country, taking note of the many changes in Turkish countryside.
We arrive at our hotel, Instanbul, the Tryp, the same hotel we started our adventure in...
After checking in and a little refreshment time, we all regroup and head out to our farewell dinner.. I do not
know where we went, but I have never seen so many places to eat, as I did here!!!! Was just amazing.. I
cannot say the meal was anything to brag about, but we did get food and it was good to spend more fun time
with our group... Speaking of food, it seems eating is the national pass time in Turkey, and in a few cases we
did find some nice food, but in most cases I had to wonder why the food was not much better, given how much
practice they get in preparing food.... They have a lot of food, but do not seem to put much effort into making it
into good meals.. Most of the food we got, and that we saw, was just simple serve presentations. In the photos
I share, you will see what I mean.. That said, maybe they are thinking it is the healthier way to eat.. !!!! But,
their meal need some work!!! But, at the end of the day, I got to do photos with all the ladies on our tour!!!
Great fun....

Part 1... We visit a fountain, a monument, and a mosque
This set is the first of three for this day. Today, we will be on foot all day, exploring a little bit
of everything.. The full day of photos was so long, so I divided it into sections. In this, the
first section, we eat breakfast, then Oguz takes us on a walk that starts with a fountain, and
old fountain.. Then, we visit a monument, and from there we go to a mosque. I had a hard
time trying to keep all the names straight on all these things, so I will leave it to the signs to
give the names.. Even with the signs, I was confused, but the visit to all these places was
fun.. For our visit into the mosque, the women had to be properly dressed.. Some brought
covers for their heads, etc.. For others, they had to borrows cover from the loan shop at the
entrance area of the mosque. You wear it while inside, drop it off as you leave.. The other
part was that we had to remove our shoes and carry them with us during the visit.. Was an
awesome building!!! Huge!!! I had to wonder what was holding the top up!!! Check the
images and you will see what I mean... Amazing... In the next set, we will visit a museum.

Part 3... We eat dinner, then do a street walk to end our last full day in Turkey
I this set, I share the last part of our last full day here in Turkey. We are in Istanbul. We have returned from our
walking adventures around town, and now it is time to go eat and do a little last minute exploring.. Since the
travel company will not work with us on getting food, we have to go do a survival run to get food.. Makes you
feel like you are on the TV show, Survivor!!!!  We started shopping for food close to our hotel, but that did not
work. We did not like the options on the menus in the places we checked out.. In the end, I lead the group
down the street to the place I ate the first night I was here.. It was pretty good, and I thought the girls would like
it.. We went, we ordered, we enjoyed.. The only set back was that this time, for sure, the cafe charged each
person a table fee. This was said to cover water, bread, butter, etc... Some of the ladies did not like this
surprise fee... I do not know if I paid a surprise fee the first night I was there.. The other place I saw the surprise
fee was in Venice, Italy. In very small print at the bottom of the menus is a statement about paying a fee just to
sit at a table.. Really strange... But, we ate, we paid, then four of us went book shopping.. It would seem one of
the ladies was on a mission to find a book that she knew about or had heard about!! Not sure.. But, the
adventure of looking for a book store turned out to be a good time... They shopped, I did the people watching

Part 2...  We visit a museum
This is part two of our walking adventure this day. We have been to a mosque, now we are going to see part
of a museum. In some parts, photography was not allowed, in other parts there was an extra fee, and required
more time than was allotted to us.. But, you get some idea of the adventure.. Then it was back on the bus and
back to our hotel, where some of the ladies and I set out on our on adventure for the rest of the day.