Turkey Archive

Thursday

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February 2014

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Travel Throwback: Ephesus, Turkey

Written by , Posted in Travel

Travel Throwback is a series of blog posts based on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise that I took with Mike, my mom, and my brother aboard the Celebrity Equinox back in August of 2011. Back then I wasn’t blogging about my travel but luckily I kept a journal and took a LOT of pictures and I can’t wait to share!

August 23, 2011

Another day, another country! Today we visited Turkey-specifically the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, built in the 10th century BC. Our ship docked in Kuşadası and we boarded a bus with the rest of our tour group for a quick drive to the ancient ruins. Personally I think a tour guide at Ephesus is an absolute must-there is so much to see here (and no pretty museum signs) and a good tour guide can give great insight along with fun little tidbits that you wouldn’t hear about otherwise. It was another scorcher of a day, but we made our way through the ruins over the course of an hour or two and even caught the entertaining performance at the end!

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

After leaving Ephesus we boarded the bus and wound up the mountainside for a quick stop in the small village of Şirince. The bus ride was quite possibly the scariest ride I’ve ever taken. The roads were incredibly narrow and curvy and I was sure we were going to tumble off the road into the olive trees on several occasions…but, we made it up the mountain and spent about an hour or so exploring the village on foot. There wasn’t a whole lot to do there, but we walked around, stopped into a small shop that sold fruit wines, and took in some amazing views.

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Back at the port in Kuşadası we had one last stop before jumping back onboard our cruise ship-a Turkish rug factory. There is obviously some sort of kickback going on here between the rug factory and the tour guide for bringing us here, but it was interesting nonetheless. We saw how they gathered the silk for the rugs and also how the rugs are made by hand…quite the process. My mom actually ended up buying a small area rug; they even packed it up in a complimentary carry-on suitcase for her and treated us to some traditional Turkish coffee-complete with readings of our coffee grounds!

Lion + Maven | Ephesus

Lion + Maven | Ephesus Ephesus was a very cool place to see, and crazy when you think of how old it is and how much history happened here! We definitely need to return to Turkey in the future-gotta check Istanbul off my bucket list!

Monday

13

January 2014

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Travel Throwback: Cruising the Mediterranean with Celebrity

Written by , Posted in Travel

With the excitement of the holidays behind us and the bitter cold settling in over Chicago, I thought this would be the perfect time to bring you to the warm, sunny lands of Italy, Greece, and Turkey! Travel Throwback is a series of blog posts based on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise that I took with Mike, my mom, and my brother aboard the Celebrity Equinox back in August of 2011. Back then I wasn’t blogging about my travel but luckily I kept a journal and took a LOT of pictures and I can’t wait to share!

Welcome to the Celebrity Equinox!

Celebrity Equinox

I’m a pretty lucky girl-I had the opportunity to go on several cruises with my family when I was younger and we’ve visited Mexico, the Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, etc….all those places that most people think of when you hear ‘cruise’. We have cruised with both Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines in the past but none of those ships and itineraries were as beautiful or as impressive as our Mediterranean cruise with Celebrity.

Celebrity Equinox

The four of us had 2 adjoining staterooms, each with great balconies where we enjoyed our coffee in the mornings, read books during the day while at sea, and convened for drinks at night. Rooms on cruise ships generally aren’t very big, and the showers certainly aren’t made for families with an average height over 6′, but our rooms on the Equinox were quite comfortable and proved to be a great home away from home for 10 days!

Our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

Our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

On our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

On our balcony aboard the Celebrity Equinox

While the rooms were great and all, we honestly didn’t spend very much time in them. We only had 2 full days at sea and on those days most of our time was spent lounging by the pool, enjoying the onboard spa, shopping, or enjoying entertainment at one of the many public spaces on the ship. We loved catching the sunset every night at the aptly named Sunset Bar where frozen drinks and latin tunes were never in short supply.

The main pool on the Celebrity Equinox

The main pool on the Celebrity Equinox

Our favorite entertainment at the Sunset Bar

Our favorite entertainment at the Sunset Bar

The fam enjoying our usual happy hour at the Sunset Bar on board

The fam enjoying our usual happy hour at the Sunset Bar on board

My brother and I watching the sunset as we sailed from Santorini

My brother and I watching the sunset as we sailed from Santorini

Sunset from the ship as we sailed from Santorini

Sunset from the ship as we sailed from Santorini

Of course you can’t talk about a cruise ship without talking about the food! I easily gained at least one clothing size over the 10 days, even with the endless walking we did, but you know what-it was well worth it! Breakfast was usually a quick stop at the ship’s buffet before we headed out for the day. Dinners were feasts in the main dining room or at Murano or Silk Harvest, two of the specialty restaurants that we visited onboard. We also took full advantage of the free room service after few late nights out-it’s pretty hard to beat wings, burgers, and pizza delivered to your room after a long night of drinking! Bottom line: Celebrity knows their food. Enjoy it, savor it, and save the diet for when you get back home!

The main buffet aboard the Equinox

The main buffet aboard the Equinox

Delicious sushi at the onboard restaurant, Silk Harvest

Delicious sushi at the onboard restaurant, Silk Harvest

Escargot, a must-order nearly every night!

Escargot, a must-order nearly every night!

Although we usually had early wake-up calls, there was always time for a little partying before calling it a night, even when we stuffed ourselves silly at dinner. The Equinox has a bunch of great places to grab drinks and/or do a little dancing, all with a different atmosphere and theme. Whether it was a sweaty dance party by the pool, fancy drinks at the martini bar, or hanging around the the ship’s club, Quasar, we always had a fantastic time!

Celebrity Equinox

Drinks in the Martini Bar

Just hanging out in the middle of the onboard club, Quasar

Just hanging out in the middle of the onboard club, Quasar

The rooms, the food, the staff, the entertainment, all the amenities…cruising on the Celebrity Equinox was a crazy wonderful experience all around. If you’re looking for a great cruise line, we all give Celebrity two giant thumbs up!

View of our ships from Fira, Santorini

View of our ships from Fira, Santorini

Celebrity Equinox

Bon Voyage!

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