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In Europe I always felt like I had trouble finding a place a to eat, that no one took a single diner seriously. In Turkey, I had the opposite problem. I couldn't walk by a restaurant without someone handing me a menu and trying to get me to come inside. While I had some amazing dinners and amazing lunches in Istanbul, sometimes it's all about quick and cheap. So, of course, the easiest thing to eat was the doner kebab (just be sure not to eat your doner on a park bench)…   Some of the easiest places to eat in Istanbul were...

I had plans to meet up again with Gulender and Murat, who I met a few weeks ago, the last time I was staying in Istanbul. I had no idea what they had in store for me for the day. We started with breakfast at a place along the Bosphorus. We had tomatoes and cucumbers, honey and cream, olives and cheese, bread and cherry jam, and eggs with peppers and tomatoes. And, of course, a little Turkish coffee....

I ended up back in Istanbul a little earlier than planned. And a little earlier in the day than I ever really should get anywhere. My bus pulled up to the station around 6am and I was immediately bombarded by a guy asking me where I was going. I said "Taksim" but I'm pretty sure he thought I said "taxi." In any case, I didn't want to follow him and really just needed a bathroom....

I've grown accustomed to slow travel. I like spending a week everywhere, soaking up the atmosphere, getting used to being in a place. But it quickly became evident that that lifestyle wasn't going to work in Turkey. Most of the places on my list of things to see weren't places I could hang my hat, they were good for a day of exploring but after that I just couldn't find much else to occupy my time. I had intended to go to some beach towns but the weather had been miserable so I wasn't in the mood. And so I ended...

Pamukkale was cold. And rainy. I guess that's what you can expect when exploring a country on its off season. There's a reason tourists flock to places in summer, the weather is more cut out for exploring. I spent my first day with a woman on her 45th birthday. She was from LA and worked in television and movies. We went off to explore Hierapolis and the Pamukkale travertines which were, really, the only reason to visit the town. We explored some ancient ruins, observed the infestation of snails, then settled into the hot springs for a relaxing soak. Unfortunately of that...

I want a Turkey sandwich. Turkey, mayo, swiss, on white bread. (I don't like vegetables on my sandwiches.) It's a weird craving to have, especially since I'm a hot lunch kind of girl, but it was the only thing my food-poisoned brain could think of that sounded appetizing. Unfortunately turkey clubs aren't standard fare here in Turkey. Ironic, eh? I was homesick on my last day in Cappadocia. Mostly because I was still nauseous and just wanted that turkey sandwich and had to settle for crackers. Partly because it was the day of the annual Music Box Massacre 24 hour horror film fest...

On Thursday morning I woke up dark and early at 5am to get picked up for my hot air balloon ride. Really, it's the thing to do in Cappadocia. I waited with two others from my hostel until the bus driver came to whisk us to the company's headquarters for breakfast. It was dark and cold and the Nescafe and bread weren't quite doing it for me. Why can't they just skip the whole breakfast thing and let you sleep in a little longer?...