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7 Days in Istanbul: Hamams, Harems, and Mosques


This week, I finally posted about my travels through Turkey last fall. Yes, it was about time, I know! Istanbul is one of my favorite cities, and I’d go back in an instant. I occasionally find myself searching for flights even though I have no immediate plans to return. ;) I loved having a week to relax and check out Istanbul at a snail’s pace, and I still feel like there’s so much more to see there. My favorite experiences were bathing at the hamam, exploring my first mosque, stuffing my face with Turkish delights at the Spice Bazaar, shopping Read more…

#41: Visit Europe Again

My first experience traveling abroad was to France in 2006 (when I officially got the travel bug). Since then, I’ve wanted to go back and see more of Europe. However, with the euro and dollar exchange rate at $1.60 this summer, I decided to stick to the outer edges of the EU that don’t use the euro yet. By starting in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, I didn’t have to cringe every time I made a purchase, but still had the convenience of being in the EU. Turkey was my next stop, and while not quite Europe, it was an amazing Read more…

#47: Do A Bike Ride In Another Country

When plans to go hiking in Sakilent Gorge near Fethiye, Turkey didn’t work out, the son of the pension owner offered to take us on a bike ride to the beach. It sounded like an easy ride, but after zooming down the most massive winding hills with beautiful views of the Mediterranean the realization that we had to come back up this same road to get back started to set in. So after a few hours of swimming and relaxing, we started the ascent to Kayakoy, the most intense workout of all time! And I was cursing my bike because Read more…

Potty Humor in Ephesus, Turkey


We headed to the coast yesterday to Selcuk — known for the ancient city of Ephesus. Our hotel has a pool! I’ve been dreaming about a pool since Istanbul. It’s been scorching hot! We spent several hours at a jewelry shop in town. Unfortuntely, I discovered that I have very expensive taste. Everything I picked out ended up being over $150! So I ended up playing with the resident kitty, while the other girls shopped. Poor me! :( This morning we left for Efesus fairly early to beat the tourists (cruise ships and tour buses all stop here, so it Read more…

Witnessing the Whirling Dervish in Bursa


After a very early breakfast, we taxied to the ferry port and took the ferry to Yalova and then took taxis to the bus station and eventually arrived in Bursa around lunch time. Bursa is known for their Silk Market and cotton towels/robes etc. The silk market is mainly just scarves. We did a quick walk through and then grabbed lunch across the street. Everyone tried lamb kebab (another thing Bursa is well-known for). I had an average lentil soup. We headed back to the silk market for some shopping and my GPS nickname has returned. Gotta love that… I’ve Read more…

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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