Bright blue and aqua water, fresh seafood and a laid back vibe makes the Turquoise Coast a peaceful place to kick back for a few days. Basing ourselves is the seaside town of Kaş, we took a few days to just relax, wander the quaint town, sip an Efes beer on the beach and enjoy wine on the rooftop as the sun went down over the Mediterranean Sea. Once we were feeling rested and ready to explore again we jumped on board a ferry headed to the Greek island Kastellorizo also known as Meis one of Greece's smallest and most distant islands visible from the Turkish coast. The highlight of this island was taking a small boat to Galazio Spilaio (Blue Cave), where once inside the sun rays coming in from the mouth of the cave, reflect off the water and illuminate the stalactites a bright blue color making it feel as if we had entered a scene from the movie Avatar. While so close to Turkey, Kastellorizo, feels like you have entered another country with it's brightly colored buildings, cobble stone streets and uniquely Greek wine. We spent the afternoon sipping wine on the rocks, diving off rocks, wandering through an old castle and enjoying grilled octopus, fresh fish and of course more wine at one of the local restaurants. Taking the ferry back late afternoon to our peaceful room in Kas at The Hideway Hotel, and returning to our rooftop terrace to watch the sun go down as we looked back across the sea to the island we had just spent the day on in Greece.
Right off the plane and into the heart of Turkey's cultural capital, Istanbul, where our senses were stimulated at every waking moment. Each day begins with the soothing sound of the morning Azan, or Islamic call to prayer, echoing through the streets just before sunrise. Walking miles on end to explore the history sites of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazar, and resting our feet by stopping for Turkish coffee, the best baklava ever tasted and plenty of cay, a black Turkish tea. With 15 million people calling Istanbul home, in addition to all the tourists from neighboring countries, it is buzzing multicultural metropolis, with some of the best people watching I have done in a long time. Loud music and the smell of nargile fills the alleys around Taksim square at night. During the day taking a fairy across the Bosporus to the Asian side of Istanbul, provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. Seeing the city from the water offers a unique perspective, with quieter streets, markets and green parks I could have sat eating olive, cheese and mezze here for days on end.