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An Unforgettable Family Vacation in Turkey

My family and I have returned from our vacation in Turkey. Here are some highlights from our vacation:

Day 1: Embracing Diversity in Diyakabyr

Our captivating expedition in Turkey began in the multifaceted city of Diyarbakir. We marveled at the ancient city walls, relished Kurdish delicacies, and were enchanted by the riveting Tigris River. Our local friend, Zerrin, added to our delightful experiences.

Day 2: Unveiling Mardin’s Mystique

Our exploration extended to Mardin, known for its intriguing stone houses. A welcoming donkey named Jasmine and a hearty meal at Bagdadi capped off our arrival. Noteworthy spots included Mor Gabriel Monastery, a Yazidi village, and the resplendent Akshaya mansion, each offering an insight into Mardin's eclectic heritage.

Day 3: Diving Deep into History at Dara

After a delightful breakfast at a Kurdish family's house, we set off to discover the ancient city of Dara, its sun temple, and the historical Zafaran Monastery. We ended the day near the Syrian border, tasting local snacks and admiring the Syrian town from afar.

Day 4: Unearthing Ancient Splendors

The next day took us to the impressive Karahan Tepe and Gobekli Tepe, redefining our understanding of ancient civilization. A gastronomic treat at the famed Cevahir restaurant in SanliUrfa followed by a leisurely stroll around the old city marked the end of our day.

Days 5-6: Sea-Side Solace in Mersin

A much-needed break on the serene beaches of Mersin rejuvenated our spirits. Despite a rocky start at a local beach club, our stay at the pleasant Muze Beach club was a joy. We left for Cappadocia later, settling into the charming Taskonaklar hotel.

Day 7: Ascending Heights and Exploring Depths in Cappadocia

An unforgettable hot air balloon ride in the early morning offered stunning panoramas of Cappadocia. Following the thrilling experience, we ventured into the city's underground structures, the Goreme Open Air Museum, and the commanding Uçhisar Castle, each revealing stories of Cappadocia's past.

Day 8: Delightful Stroll through Pigeon and Rose Valleys

A leisurely walk through Cappadocia's charming valleys introduced us to nature's bounty and the region's historic caves. The day ended in an abandoned village, resonating with stories of its past inhabitants.

Day 9: Vibrant Istanbul Beckons

A quick flight to Istanbul set the stage for the next chapter of our journey. The iconic Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Basilica Cisterns painted a picture of Istanbul's profound history, enhanced by the insights of our local guide, Ensar.

Day 10: A Walk Through Jewish Istanbul

Jewish Istanbul offered a remarkable narrative of religious tolerance in the Ottoman Empire. We visited the historic Ahrida Synagogue and the vibrant Balat district, home to many Jewish families. Our exploration concluded at the majestic Neve Shalom Synagogue and its educational Jewish museum.

Day 11: The Grand Finale

Our final day in Turkey was marked by a visit to the majestic Topkapi Palace and a leisurely exploration of Istanbul's less-touristy spots. A relaxing Hamam experience and a tranquil evening on our hotel's rooftop, overlooking the Bosphorus, were the perfect epilogue to our enchanting Turkey adventure.

In conclusion, our eleven-day journey through Turkey was a whirlwind of enriching experiences, touching every facet of this nation's diverse heritage. From the historical allure of Diyakabyr to the spiritual calm of Mardin, from the ancient marvels of Dara to the coastal serenity of Mersin, and finally, the cultural richness of Istanbul, every day held a new revelation. Turkey, with its open-hearted people, tantalizing cuisine, and rich history, truly is a traveler's delight.

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