Oh, silly me. I forgot to post photos of the 2-week Turkey trip I took on the way back from Kurdistan.

BODRUM

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Bodrum’s on a peninsula on the Aegean.

A Day on the Aegean

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Lunch on the boat.
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Ice cream boat! Catering to the tourists. I don’t think it played “Pop Goes the Weasel,” though.
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We paid a day fee at a fancy hotel to use their beach and spa for a day. Then, instead of taking the bus back across the bay to our own little hotel, we took the boat taxi! Much shorter and more enjoyable.

CAPPADOCIA

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Mom in front of the cave rooms.
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One of the very phallic stone spires.
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A camel. For tourists.
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Silent protesters. When we were there, silent protests were beginning to take place. These people stood in front of this busy bridge for hours, drawing attention to their anti-Erdogan protests.
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Mosque on the river, in nearby Nevsehir.

Balloon Ride in Cappadocia

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I went up in a BALLOON! We had to get there eeeeaaarly, since it’s the only time the air currents are right…or the temperature…or something. In any case, it was like 4am when this balloon was being filled and I had just drunk about 4 cups of godawful Nescafe. The balloon woke me up more than the instant coffee did.

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Deflating the balloon. The balloon operator landed the basket on the bed of the truck, tipped the balloon to the side, and began deflating it. Meanwhile, a truck pulled up and a bunch of Turkish men popped out. Some helped secure the basket, and others set up a rinky-dink table and poured champagne (ok, some sort of sparkling drink) for us!

ISTANBUL

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Taksim Square

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Riot police, looking sick and tired of the protests. Can’t blame them.
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Taksim Square, as the crowds are accumulating for a protest.

Hitting Up The Tourist Sites

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New Mosque.
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New Mosque.
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A sweets vendor. He had six flavors of a toffee-like candy. I told him I wanted strawberry flavor. So he took a stick and wrapped a bunch of the toffee around it and added lemon. It was extremely sticky.
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My favorite simit (the round sesame bread) vendor.
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Wall patterns at Topkapi.
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Wall patterns at Topkapi.
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Actual original Egyptian-Greek obelisk in a hippodrome in Istanbul. The horses would race out of one point, then turn around a set point and return to the starting gate. An out-and-back course. For the BEST narrative of an ancient chariot race, see book 23 of the Iliad.
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Spectators at the base of the obelisk watching the chariot races.
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A secondary horse-race obelisk. In the foreground is the serpent column, a tripod built to commemorate Greeks who died fighting the Persians at the battle of Plataea. Water was kept around its sunken base (you can see that the column isn’t built at ground level – rather, it’s built a few meters below) in order to keep vermin away from the holy column.
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Hagia Sofia’s falling down, falling down, falling down. Hagia Sofia’s falling down, because the structure’s too heavy for its foundations, my faiiiiir lady.
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Hagia Sofia. Was a church, then a mosque (hence the Madonna & Child, as well as the Arabic), then to avoid all the nasty religious in-fighting, it was made into a museum.
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Hagia Sofia. Christian crosses under an Islamic pattern.
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Underground city. Woooooooo.
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Underground city. Medusa’s head. She doesn’t look so ugly to me.
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Blue Mosque. Apparently it looks like a flower when viewed from above.
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Blue Mosque.

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