Since I last posted, I have done so much. I have been to Edirne, Cappadocia, Selcuk (Ephesus), and Fethiye.
After the last post, Joy and I went to the Prince's Islands. These are the islands just off the coast of Istanbul. It is very easy to go there; it takes about an hour by ferry. There isn't much to do there except look at architecture and eat. There is a beach on one of the islands, but we didn't go. It was a relaxing way to spend a day.
Beach at Kinaliada
I also went to Cappadocia with Peter and Rauan. It was an amazing, breathtaking experience. This was my first trip out of Istanbul, and it was the one furthest away (so far). Cappadocia is Turkey's oddball spot - there isn't another place like it. There are 3 volcanoes in the region that were at one point active. Their rock formations are really cool, and when people first inhabited the region they carved their (cave) houses in the rocks. There are still churches with original frescoes in them.
Edirne was my next trip. I only spent the day there. It reminded me of Istanbul except there weren't as many people there. There are old mosques and a nice bazaar area to tour.
The last trip I took, I started by going to Selcuk, which is where the ancient city of Ephesus is located. That was another breathtaking site. From Selcuk I took a bus to Fethiye. Fethiye is a bigger city that is close to a lot of popular beaches. The famous beach I went to was Oludeniz. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The water was clear and blue.
At the ruins of St. John's Basilica
Tomorrow I am going to Eskisehir for the day. I have an old friend from there, and I am going to visit. After Eskisehir I will be going to Ankara for the day and catching the night train back.
Work is still going really well. I have mostly been doing data entries and helping people with their English. I love my company, but I don't think I would ever work there permanently unless I was teaching English. They have been my family here, which is so relieving to have had. I have 2 more weeks of work and a few more trips to take. I am planning to go to Alanya as well as possibly the Black Sea region and/or Canakkale (I still haven't been!).