It is Kim's Birthday this weekend and I have been reminiscing the fabulous Turkish road trip that we took last year for her Birthday. We brought our favorite four legged creature and set off to the Black Sea region of Turkey. Our first rest stop was at the beautiful Sapanca Lake, so serene and peaceful.
Kim loves driving and I love playing navigator in the passenger seat. The roads were long and speckled with beautiful sights like these.
We spent our first evening in the stunning UNESCO town of Safranbolu. Honestly, I just picked this town because it seemed the right distance away from Istanbul but it turned out to be a total treat! It was the cutest little place that seriously looked like it is where they shot Beauty and the Beast. I couldn't get over how adorable this place was! We stayed in a hotel that was a renovated house from the 1800's that still had a lot of it's similar qualities. I definitely want to return.
When we set out the next day we were driving through a little town and all of a sudden there was a huge castle on a hill right in front of us. We were able to drive up an explore it on foot. It turns out it was the Kastamonu Castle, parts of it dating back to the Byzantine era.
Perhaps my favorite scenery of the weekend was the mountain passes we traveled on our way to the coast. We stopped and sampled honey from street-side bee keepers and sipped tea on picnic tables surrounded by white peaked mountains.
Most of our day we spent winding the twisting coast of the Black Sea. I had read that this route was as amazing as the coasts of California and it was quite spectacular . . . for the first few hours. By afternoon we were both ready to get off of the curving paths but alas, the only way out was through, so we continued to twist and turn with these views by our side.
We ended the weekend in Agva, where we stayed at a funky place that gave us our own cottage with a working fire place that we had to take a boat to cross a little river in order to get to. They also had the most amazing homemade jam with the Turkish breakfast we had in the morning.
It was such a fun road trip over all and Ms. Penny did amazingly, quickly warming up to this new way of travel. Just writing about this makes me want to do it all over again. Happy Birthday my love, cheers to another fantastic year of adventuring.
Alisa & Kim
Two expats living, teaching, and eating their way across this beautiful world