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Istanbul 2020 - Turkey

Turkey for Thanksgiving - the country not the bird

sunny 40 °F
View Turkey 2020 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

After being mostly contained all year (minus some road trips, camping, hiking, and seeing family) we decided it was time to break out of the country. It wasn't an easy decision. To travel during a pandemic, knowing that if everyone wouldn't have traveled anywhere for a month at the start of this thing, it would be over long ago.
We considered the safety of travel; however we, the airlines, the hotels, and almost everyone we interacted with took great precautions.
We considered the impacts to family and friends and even strangers; but we quarantined before and after and got tested several times.
We considered the financial impacts; it wasn't that much for us, but it was a huge difference to the groups we talked to that rely on tourism to live.

Our trip included a flight from Denver to DC, then a long ride to Doha Qatar. Once there, we couldn't leave the airport, so managed overnight there before heading onto Istanbul Turkey. We were in Turkey for Turkey Day ... although we ended up eating lamb instead. During the day was some sight seeing, and during night for a week or so was working, back on Denver time.

But then there was a full week of vacation. It included seeing more of Istanbul. It is such an interesting city where Europe, Asia, and the Middle East all meet and have cultural influence. I also spent a few days in the Cappadocia region. It's pretty much right in the middle of the country and is known for the fairy chimney rock formations and the underground cities and churches carved into that same rock.

We took a hot air balloon ride, visited countless mosques, had great local food, witnessed talented artists making Turkish rugs and pottery by hand, tasted local wine, toured underground cisterns, museums, castles, churches, did some shopping and bartering at the bazaars, slept in a cave (hotel), experienced a Turkish full service bath (hammam), and again ate some really good food.

We also add a few days of the vacation in North Macedonia.

Recommend - Istanbul:

  • Topkapi Palace
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Galata Tower - to watch the sunset
  • Dolmabache Palace
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Kadikoy & Moda
  • full Hammam experience

Recommend - Cappadocia:

  • watching a sunrise with a hot air balloon ride over the region
  • Goreme Open Air Museum
  • views from Uchisar castle
  • underground city tour

Trip Map

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and for this trip : Turkey album

Cappadocia
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Dolmabahce Palace
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views around Istanbul
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Beyazit and Ortakoy Mosques
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Istanbul at sunset from Galata Tower
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Links

MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 20:43 Archived in Turkey Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises churches boats museums travel turkey wine europe asia 2020 murktravels Comments (0)

Christmas Markets 2017 - Luxembourgh

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg 2017

rain 50 °F
View Germany 2017 on MurkTravels's travel map.

the Grand Duchy

Luxembourg is the world's only remaining grand duchy ... just meaning that the ruler is royalty with the title of Grand Duke. It's the 7th smallest country in Europe, and 28th smallest overall. It's quite the blend of French, German, and Belgian culture. Luxembourg City is one of 3 official capitals of the European Union.
We decided to check it out as part of our German Christmas markets tour in 2017. The main reason being that I found really cheap flights going there instead of the main German airports, but it's less than an hour bus ride to the border. It also allowed us some time to get over any jet lag and relax a few days before the crazy German markets tour. We were pleasantly surprised, and they have incorporated their own markets (like much of central Europe now).

Highly recommend:

  • Bock Casemates (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Place Guillaume II square
  • Christmas markets

Other sites to check out:

  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Grand Ducal Palace (only open for tours a few weeks in the summer)
  • Villa Vauban & the Municipal park

Trip Map

Pictures

A panoramic view across the Alzette river and valley.
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One of several Luxembourg City christmas markets
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A decorated tree in the markets.
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The decorated cathedral of Notre Dame (Lux version).
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The UNESCO site of the Bock casemates.
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A panoramic view across the Alzette river and valley.
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Videos

Our ride up a glass elevator:

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 12:22 Archived in Luxembourg Tagged markets travel christmas festival wine europe luxembourg 2017 Comments (0)

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