September saw us head off on our road trip to America’s South West. I’ve written a little bit about what we did in our starting city of San Francisco, but here I’m going to share our road trip itinerary and how we planned it. We went with friends, coincidentally another Mr and Mrs Jones, so there were four of us and four different wish lists. We started with a map and wine. Wine is always a good place to start. After agreeing on a do-able radius we all pitched in with an orange marker pen and circled our ‘must sees’. From there it was just a case of joining up the dots. Well, sort of.
Istanbul from the Bosphoros
A Mini Tour of Turkey
September saw us set off for a two week tour of Turkey, a new destination for me, and one I knew little about. The more research I did the more I realised how much there is to this fascinating country. We had just two weeks and wanted to combine sightseeing, relaxation and city exploration all the while photographing and eating our way around the country. Two weeks gave us time to just scratch the surface. Here’s the itinerary for our tour of Turkey.
After flying into Istanbul we took a flight to Kayseri in the centre of the country. We then transferred to Goreme in a region called Cappadocia in central Anatolia and stayed three nights here, the first in a ‘Fairy Chimney’ in the most charming boutique cave hotel in Goreme. We explored the underground cave town of Derinkuyu, hiked through some incredible volcanic rock formations, had the most perfect breakfast of my life and took a dawn hot air balloon flight with around 80 other balloons. A memory I’ll always treasure.
Rose Valley, Cappadocia
The next leg of our tour of Turkey took us from Goreme to Pamukkale in Denizli. It was a pretty gruesome 8.5 hour drive by night bus but worth every bone crunching, sleep-deprived minute to see Pamukkale’s incredible Cotton Castle. The white terraces are formed from calcium carbonate which eventually hardens and forms travertine pools. People have bathed here for thousands of years.
Nearby is the archaeological town of Hierapolis with amphitheatre, necropolis, monumental gates and ancient ruins. We had one night in Pamukkale in a lovely little family run hotel. Our room that looked like a set from a 70s porn film – not that I would know! The gigantic four-poster bed swathed in burgundy sequinned drapes and bedspread needs to be seen to be believed!
From Pamukkale we travelled down to the coast to Bodrum – another bus journey but this time only 4.5 hours and in daylight which meant we could take in some of Turkey’s scenery en-route. We had five nights in Bodrum and a chance to kick back and relax. We spent our time wandering the town searching out little bars and cafes, a day on a boat and a day in the hospital. Best laid plans…
Turkish eyes – watching your back
From Bodrum we flew back to where we arrived; Istanbul was the destination for our last two nights. A lot was crammed into two days. We explored The Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, the curiously creepy Basilica Cistern, and took a boat trip on the Bosphorus. A morning spent at Topkapi Palace wasn’t nearly long enough and the hectic Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar were an assault on the senses. We dived into some delicious sweet treats while exploring Istanbul’s sweet side and enjoyed general wanderings and explorations.
Sultan Ahmed (Blue Mosque), Istanbul
Our Tour of Turkey
Here’s our route for our mini tour of Turkey. Straight lines are flights, wiggly lines are road routes.
Are you planning a trip to Turkey? If you have any questions or need any tips drop me a line. I’m happy to help where I can.
2 days in Hanoi itinerary. If you only have two days in Hanoi this itinerary is packed with expert tips and all the best things to see and do in Vietnam’s capital city…
Cyclos in Hanoi
Updated June 2020
Our Vietnam itinerary starts Vietnam’s Capital. We’ve got two days in Hanoi and arrive just before dawn. As we drive from Noi Bai airport on the main road to Hanoi, we are surrounded by a stream of vibrating traffic – it’s like being in the middle of a swarm of bees – and it’s where the Hanoi buzz begins.
Scooters and bicycles piled to toppling with wares to sell in town; baskets stuffed to bursting with chickens, exotic fruits and vegetables stacked high. A dead pig lashed to the back of a scooter overtakes us, trotters flailing either side of the number plate. People on push-bikes wearing traditional nón lá hats glide serenely along. All have one destination in mind. Hanoi. Read on for my Hanoi intinerary and how to spend 2 days in Hanoi.