Alacati July 2013

Turkey is filled with unsung beach holiday towns along the Aegean coast.  Largely undiscovered outside Turkey, Alacati is less touristy than Bodrum and is where many Turks like to spend their holidays.  Its white stone houses, cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes and shops, and beautiful beaches are perfect for an idyllic seaside break.  It is only a 45-minute drive to the west of Izmir.

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Ephesus & Pergamum July 2013

Ephesus was once one of the three largest cities of the Roman Asia Minor.  The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  The iconic Library of Celcius and the open-air theatre capable of holding 25,000 spectators are other highlights at Ephesus.  The city had one of the most advanced aqueduct systems in the ancient world, with multiple aqueducts of various sizes to supply different areas of the city.

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Pamukkale & Aphrodisias July 2013

Pamukkale, which translates to “Cotton Castle”, is a natural site in southwestern Turkey. The white terraces here are made of travertine, and not salt, which is a sedimentary rock deposited by water flowing from the hot springs.  The water from the hot springs are supersaturated with calcium carbonate and when the carbon dioxide de-gasses from it, the white calcium carbonate is deposited as a soft jelly that eventually hardens into travertine.  People have bathed in these pools for thousands of years.

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Cappadocia July 2013

Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia of Turkey.  Ancient volcanic eruptions covered this region with thick ash which solidified into a soft rock.  These volcanic rocks in the area eroded over time by wind and water into hundreds of pillars and minarets called fairy chimneys, some up to 40 meters high.  People of the region carved out houses, churches, and monasteries from these soft volcanic rocks.  They even dug out underground cities where a few thousand of people could live there at once to escape bandits or religious persecution.

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