| CHIC Travels | The Honeymoon | Turkey

23 November, 2015

Entering the shore of Kusadasi, a seaside town on Turkey's Aegean coast. The name derives from 'kus' (bird) and 'ada' (island), as the island is in the shape of a bird's head if seen from the sea. This town has had a few name changes in the history of its existence. During the Byzantine era, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, Kusadasi was known as Ephesus Neopolis. During the Genovese and Venetian time as Scala Nova. Kus Adasi was later adopted in the beginning of the 20th century, but the people of today often shorten the name to Ada. 

Guvercinada, which means Pigeon Island is a peninsula where many resorts and beaches are found and where the Fortress of Kusadasi, also known as the Byzantine Castle is located. This was once an island, but a man-made bridge was made in order to have easier access to it. The fortified castle was built to protect the Ottoman Empire's sea trade, which was vulnerable to pirate attacks. 

During our visit, the castle was unfortunately closed for renovations. We decided to just tour the outside grounds, which did not take us very long as part of the passage way  missing and enabled us to get across. 

We really mostly enjoyed the wonderful view of the sea, the water was nice and blue, plus we made an adorable friend along the way (see below).

He followed us, mostly my husband all through our walk through the path, until he decided he no longer was interested in us, I assume, it was because he realized we came with no food in hand. So he took off to find another human to follow and find some food. I was so sad to watch him leave, and wondered what kind of life he must be living under the conditions in which he found himself. Some of you know I love dogs very much, so this was heartbreaking. Looking at these pictures now makes me wonder what is of him, and only hope that he finds a safe place to continue his journey.

Views of the city from Pigeon Island.

Kusadasi's market area is about a fifteen minute walk from Pigeon Island, where you will find all sorts of goods, from fake designer labels (which I am totally against), to the actual good stuff like jewelry, Turkish tea pots and coffee makers, traditional rugs, bags and more. I enjoyed this part the most, as I love the thrill of finding unique pieces of anything. Even with my love for markets, I was being a pain (now in hindsight of course), because I was moaning about not being able to do the tour to the Ephesus ruins (more on that at the end of post), so I was not as in it, as I should have been to find cool and unique stuff, I did manage to buy a few things, a coffee maker, mainly because my husband is a big fan of Turkish coffee, but secondly because they are so pretty, along with few gifts.

I regret not going on a hunt for lanterns like these that were hanging outside a restaurant. They gave that tree such beauty and life, the vibrant colors is what is the most eye-catching of all, you can't help but to feel cheerful after looking at them.

By far, this is my favorite picture, I don't know, every time I look at it, it feels so powerful, as if it is trying to give us some type of message. 

View of Kusadasi as we were leaving its shores, it wasn't as eventful as I had hoped. I was under the weather that day and was forced to leave the cruise ship much later then the port time, so we sadly missed out on the most amazing part of this stop, the Ephesus ruins. The ruins were a majestic ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, present day Kusadasi. It was built in the 10th century BC by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but later destroyed almost entirely, with only a few foundations and fragments of the latest temples left on the site.

To say the least, I was so disappointed, I am a history geek, and I happen to love ancient Roman and Greek history, so you can imagine the blow, but hopefully the waves rule in my favor some day and bring me back to this place so I can finally see these spectacular ruins. If you go to Kusadasi, do not loose your chance to take a tour to the ruins, you'll be disappointed if you don't.

This is the only coverage of Turkey I get to do, as I said, didn't have much time here. I do hope, however, that you enjoyed the little bit I got to see. As always thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read through. Next up, this place was on my bucket list, and I am thankful I was able to check-mark it off the list (ok, maybe not entirely, I do hope I get to go for much longer this time), it is as beautiful as people always describe it...Santorini. Just wait till you see all the pictures of these unreal of a place, which reminds me, damn, nature is one hell of a gorgeous beast.

Part II | CHIC Travels | The Honeymoon | Croatia

03 November, 2015

After a beautiful yet painfully hot hike up the hills and streets of Dubrovnik, we reached what is known as the old city/town, the most visited area of the city, and good reason why. The old city is surrounded by what is known as the Walls of Dubrovnik, mostly built during the 12th through the 17th century, and are a series of defensive stone walls that surround most of the city. These walls have protected its people since the city's founding prior to the 7th century, when Dubrovnik was called Ragusia. These walls have been considered among the greatest fortification systems of the Middle Ages, because no hostile army ever breached them during that time period. The old city joined the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List in 1979. 

Fort Lovrijenac with a lonesome watchman.

A very cool fact | Dubrovnik was used to film the sensation that is the Game of Thrones. I never followed the show, therefore, I had no idea that this was even a fact until I did some research later for these posts. So wished I wouldn't have known then, because even though I haven't really seen the show, I thought this was pretty cool. If you are planning a trip to Croatia and are a fan of the show (or not, because it's still cool anyway) check out this post out, it shows you some of the locations where scenes where shot, one of them being Fort Lovrijenac seen above.

Walking through Stradun, the limestone-paved main street of Dubrovnik, which runs about 300 meters through the old city/town. The site used to be a marshy channel that separated Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) from the forest settlement of Dubrava before it was reclaimed in the 13th century.

If you have been following me on all my travels, then by now you know that I love alley ways in Europe, I feel like they all hold crazy stories of past pedestrians.

My love (saying it as I write with a big smile) enjoying some well deserved gelato after our long hike.

Prettiest establishment I've ever seen.

The Gundulic monument, which was unveiled back in 1893. Ivan Gundulic was the most prominent Croatian Baroque Poet from the Republic of Ragusa. 

The unveiling held a very symbolic importance because it brought to the surface the tension between the Croats and the Serb-Catholics during the Pre-War 1 political struggles in the region.

Narrow stairways fill the old city and give it that ultra medieval charm that you only dream about or read about in old romantic novels.

Taking one last hike down to see the ocean and cliffs before we had to head back to the ship. I wish we could have stayed one extra day in this beautiful dream of a city, because I mistakenly left my swimsuit back in our cabin and sadly was unable to jump into the Adriatic ocean, but also because I could have easily just sat on a cliff all day admiring the view.

I took this picture after #bae and I were finally hydrated because who walks miles and miles without carrying any water with them...us! but also because I happen to have a wonderful blogger friend named Jana. I sent her the picture a few days after my discovery.

Hope you enjoyed our adventure in Croatia, next up is Turkey, so stay tuned. Again, thank you for reading.