This year started very well: I was in Istanbul visiting some of my best friends. Ok, on New Year’s Eve it actually snowed so much that we stayed at home, but the year started with us being well rested [here]. On 1 January we went to Ortaköy, which is famous for its great kumpirs and waffles. It also looks like this year is going to end well since I have another trip coming up in only three days, to Las Vegas. Since I love traveling, I recapped all my journeys this year. My favorite five trips of 2016 were these:
This city in Southeast Turkey had been on my bucket list for ages. Imagine an ancient city built on a mountainside, looking at the huge Mesopotamian Plain. The narrow roads are so steep that people still use donkeys nowadays to transport goods. Mardin’s old town definitely is one of the most interesting and beautiful places I have ever been to. And in my fantasy it is just the city Tolkien thought of when he wrote of Minas Tirith (although I think in reality Tolkien got the idea from an Italian city).
Another city that I had wanted to visit for a very long time. There is the Pool of Sacred Fish there, apparently the place where Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod. I wanted to go and see that pool with thousands of carps. It really is a magical place. I remember that on the same day I also visited the cave Job hid in and drank from his well because the water is supposed to give you patience. Well, I’m not sure about the patience part, but when I woke up the next morning, I immediately got Job’s message of the military coup in Turkey.
I know I know, I am one hopeless case. Sometimes I even wonder myself why I moved away from Turkey when I obviously love it so much (but then I think of the president, his politics, etc., and I remember why). Anyway, I love ancient history, I love Turkey – and in Turkey there is Ephesus. The 1,500 up to 3,000 year old ruins are impressive, and so I spent half a day strolling through the ancient Greek (and later Roman) city in bright sunlight at 40 °C.
In April I flew to Miami Beach with a friend and we went on a one day road trip to Key West. It was amazing. Not only did we get an upgrade for our car and I was driving, but the whole trip was literally beautiful because the highway leads from one small Key island to the next and we crossed several awesome bridges. Read more here.
New York City
This is my second favorite city in the world, and I wish I could live there. Actually, I don’t have this one favorite trip to NYC because I went there six times (I think) this year. New York City is beautiful in every season, and I even enjoyed it during a blizzard [here]. In March I met two of my students from Turkey there and visited the UN Headquarters for the first time [here], and in April I showed the city to my parents. This year I mostly went there for only one or two days in a row, but I hope to stay there a little longer (ok, like a week) at least once in 2017.
Now I can’t wait to see Las Vegas, which will hopefully be another amazing trip. And then it’s already 2017 and I can feel that are many more travel adventures waiting for me.
Which was your favorite trip in 2016?