Month: July 2020

TOUR Kusadasi Turkey!


Turkish Patriotism in Kusadasi

Touring Kusadasi, Turkey

A tour of Kusadasi, Turkey treats you to many exotic delights! Kusadasi, (or Kuşadası in Turkish), is a vibrant port city on Turkey’s west coast. It’s a popular stop on cruise ship itineraries. It makes a great launching pad for exciting attractions in the region. These include the poignantly preserved ancient Roman metropolis of Ephesus, which I covered in another blog post here Tour Ephesus Turkey Treasures. Ephesus is a 12 mile trip. Sirince, which I cover in another blog post here Tour Sirince, Turkey, is about a 35 minute drive. If you’re not adverse to a road trip, the spectacular thermal pools of Pamukkale are just under 3 hours’ drive. I’ve marked Pamukkale a must for my next visit to Turkey!


Tepe Neighborhood

Tepe Neighborhood

Mayor Özer Kayali promoted the Tepe project, which involved painting over 400 homes on this hillside in a rainbow of beautiful shades. He strategically selected this location directly on the port of Kusadasi, because here cruise ships and other tour boats would get their first glimpse of this up-and-coming city. It’s a brilliant sight to behold. It’s on a high perch, visible from much of the downtown area. The Tepe neighborhood stands as both a colorful symbol of the colorful personalities of the Turkish people, and creative spirit of the city.


Okuz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai

Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai

Öküz Mehmed Pasha, military commander in the Ottoman Empire, commissioned the Öküz Mehmed Pasha Caravanserai. It was built between 1615 and 1618 and is still standing strong. Today this former customs building for port commerce serves as a hotel. You will feel very safe and secure in this robust fort-like structure! It stands out like an exclamation point a couple of blocks from the port, and is the most noticeable structure in town.


How Turkish Coffee is Served

Turkish Coffee Tasting

Turkish coffee is, admittedly, an acquired taste. It’s like an extra-strength espresso on steroids. So many Turks add sugar to the brew to tone down the bitter notes. When you order a Turkish coffee, you’ll be asked how you want your sugar. I asked a local what’s the most popular request for Turks, and he suggested “medium sugar.” I’m a firm believer in the old “when in Rome…” adage, so I always want to try the local specialties anywhere I go, and preferably in the most authentic form possible. With my “medium sugar” Turkish coffee I received a bowl of delicious candies and fresh water. I enjoy strong flavors, so I liked the coffee. There was a lot of residue at the bottom of the cup – I added some of the water to it so I could finish it off, which worked well!

Cafe Cats in Kusadasi

The cafe I visited was right on the port. I enjoyed beautiful views of the harbor, ships, Kusadasi Castle, and the Tepe neighborhood. I made a new friend – a local cat joined me, sitting on the bench right next to me. There’s a lot of cats out in public areas here, and they’re not afraid of tourists! Shopkeepers and restauranteurs feed them, because they keep the mice away. Do you want to learn more about Turkey’s cats? Check out the amazing film Kedi: click here.


Turkish Carpet Demonstration

Turkish Carpet Demonstrations

Many merchants in town will tell you no visit to Kusadasi is complete without a Turkish Carpet Demonstration. You can experience this visual stimulation all over town, and it will often come with a delicious pastry, Turkish coffee, and a licorice-flavored alcoholic drink Raki. The show was quite the spectacle, but no amount of Raki could have convinced me to spend the thousands of US dollars these merchants wanted for the carpets. They were extremely impressive though, so even though the demonstration was a “sales pitch,” I greatly enjoyed the artistry of their work nonetheless.


Touring around the Port

More to Tour in Kusadasi, Turkey!

There’s much more to tour in and around Kusadasi, Turkey! You can view my full video tour of Kusadasi, Turkey in my YouTube video here!:

And if you still have an appetite for Turkey, check out my other Turkey blog posts here!:

Tour Ephesus Turkey Treasures

Tour Sirince, Turkey

Finally, if you don’t want to miss out on Turkey’s fascinating cats, check out the amazing film Kedi! Click here for Kedi!

Thanks for reading! See you next week!

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Tour Ephesus Turkey Treasures


Ancient Main Road

Tour Ephesus Turkey

Welcome to another travel Turkey blog. Ephesus was one of the most vibrant major cities in the Roman Empire. Located on the west coast of Turkey near the port city of Kusadasi, it provides some of the finest examples of Roman architecture and civil engineering on the planet. Archaeologists continue to unearth more treasures to this day, as there is much more yet to be uncovered.

Ancient Roman Roads: Quality Construction!

When you tour Ephesus, Turkey, the first thing you notice is how well the main road through the town has stood the test of time. They don’t build them like they used to! Roads were vital to Roman trade, governance, communications, and military movement, just as they are today. The Romans constructed 250,000 miles of roads, many of them paved with stone like this one in Ephesus. Rome had many kinds of roads, from back alleys to major highways. These roads were critical to the explosive growth of the Roman Empire in the ancient world.


The Building Blocks of Civilization

Building Blocks of Civilization

The columns and bricks here represent more than the brilliance of ancient Roman civil engineering. They represent the building blocks of civilization: the institutions that continue to shape our culture today. We have adopted many staples of Roman society, like public squares, government buildings, libraries, marketplaces, theaters, stadiums, bathhouses, places of worship, and more. These institutions are now an important part of our daily lives.


Sophisticated Ancient Roman Plumbing

Very Sophisticated Plumbing

The plumbing system of the ancient Romans was highly advanced. The Romans built elaborate aqueducts to channel water from the countryside into the cities. Once in the cities, the water was delivered through a system of pipes, just like we use today. In Ephesus public toilets and their pipes are still intact. While it seems like there was no privacy, at least live music was provided in public restrooms to drown out the sound…!


Cats on Mouse Patrol

Cats On Patrol

Many cats roam the ruins in Ephesus. I asked a guide about them, and he told me they feed the cats and encourage their presence. The cats keep mice away, and delight visitors! Cats are cherished all over Turkey, and you will find them friendly and frisky. For a wonderful film about Turkey’s lovable feline population, watch the film Kedi. Click here to learn more: Kedi the Movie. This critically acclaimed film is heartwarming, fun, and fascinating, and I highly recommend it!


Library of Celsus

Library of Celsus

The consul Gaius Julius Aquila commissioned the Library in the 110s A.D. At the time this was the third largest library in the world after the libraries in Alexandria, Egypt and Pergamum, Persia. The Library of Celsus has impressively survived fires, earthquakes, and attacks by the Goths, not to mention centuries of time. This massive and exquisitely preserved structure is the highlight to any tour of Ephesus.

Tour Ephesus Turkey More!

Ancient Rome survives today, not only in it’s timeless ruins, but on the influence it continues to have in our lives to this day. Check out my video tour of Ephesus, Turkey on YouTube here!

And for another travel Turkey blog, check out my post on Sirince! More travel Turkey posts coming soon!:

Tour Sirince, Turkey

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Ultimate Travel Adventures YouTube Channel

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Ultimate Travel Adventures on MIX!

And don’t forget to check out the amazing film Kedi!:

Kedi on Amazon

Disclaimer: is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. There is absolutely no cost to readers, and all proceeds will be strictly applied to covering the costs of maintaining this blog so that it can continue to serve readers for years to come!

Tour Sirince, Turkey

Sirince, Turkey streets

Steep, cobblestoned hills

It’s time to tour Sirince, Turkey!

Time to tour Sirince, Turkey! Sirince has many surprises in store. Sirince is the epitome of a quaint, charming village. This adorable town is a short hop from the port town of Kusadasi, Turkey on the West coast. The ancient Roman city of Ephesus (coming soon in a future post) is also nearby. Give yourself a great variety of Turkish culture by touring these three destinations. You’ll experience the ancient and modern, along with the big city and countryside. You can board a tour out of Kusadsi to both Sirince and Ephesus in a one day trip. Sirince, Turkey is rippled with hills covered in cute little houses, which are adorned with beautifully detailed wood trim. Rusty orange terracotta roofs shimmer in the glimmering sun. Traveling to Sirince, Turkey is truly a pleasure.

Meet Sirince’s four-legged residents!

The narrow streets are lined with cobbled paths, which are traversed by many a friendly furry friend. You’ll find many cats in this area of Turkey! A native of this area told me they keep the mice away and delight tourists! So stop and say “meow” (translation: thank you!) for their hard work patrolling for the kinds of critters you’d probably rather not encounter…

Sirince, Turkey houses

Authentic architecture

What can I do while touring Sirince?

Sirince is a sleepy little village, but there’s plenty of shopping to be had. The cobbled streets, which are lined with shops and stalls, sell mostly local, homemade crafts, clothes, and foods. Prices are outstanding in Turkey. My favorite souvenir has been some handmade olive oil soaps that I picked up for a couple of dollars each. They have a fabulous scent and have lasted me for months after the trip. They remind me of the wonderful sights and smells I enjoyed here each time I use them!

cafe in Sirince

Cute cafes

Tour the culinary traditions of Sirince!

Bring an appetite! If you do, you will find many good deals! There is an abundance of delightful little cafes where you can enjoy mouth-watering local specialties, such as strong Turkish coffee, succulent kabobs of grilled meat, and delectable Turkish delight candies. And the best thing about the cafes here may be the people watching. You can also bring the delight of Turkish delight home with you, so haggle with sellers to get six boxes for less than $20! I particularly recommend the strawberry flavor. Pistachio is another popular flavor.

Sirince homes on a hill

Whitewashed homes on a hillside

Most memorable moment touring Sirince

Venture to the top of the hills, where Incredible views are to be had! From here you will gaze upon whitewashed homes descending down the slope, brilliantly bright in the shimmering Turkish sun. I had my most memorable moment when I reached the top of the tallest hill, where I could survey the whole amazing town from my high perch!


I highly recommend a stop in Sirince on your next visit to Turkey! At the bottom of the hill where the tour buses arrive it can be tackily touristy, but make your way to the top and you will encounter quiet side streets and spectacular views!

For more touring, Sirince, Turkey, and cats…!

Want to see more of Turkey’s amazing cats? Then I highly recommend this endearing film about them (notice the well-deserved 5-star reviews!):

KEDI the movie

Tour Sirince, Turkey virtually today! You can view the full tour of the charming town of Sirince, Turkey on my YouTube video!:

Video visit to Sirince!

Tour Turkey some more, with my post on Ephesus!:

Tour Ephesus Turkey Treasures

Traveling somewhere soon and want to learn how to order in a restaurant, check into a hotel, and ask for directions in the local language? Check out my Fluenz language review here!:

Fluenz Language Program Review

Disclaimer: is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. There is absolutely no cost to readers, and all proceeds will be strictly applied to covering the costs of maintaining this blog so that it can continue to serve readers for years to come!

Fluenz Language Program Review

Fluenz Italian with Colosseum

Repeat the words exercise

Why learn languages for travel?

Welcome to my Fluenz language program review! But first, why learn languages for travel? When you gain conversational skills in the foreign language of the country you’re traveling to, or at least the proficiency to order in a restaurant, check into a hotel, and ask for directions, it greatly enhances the travel experience. Natives are often pleasantly surprised when tourists make the effort, and, I have found, sometimes they’re even thrilled. In addition to that, if you know know some of the language you will feel less intimidated in a foreign countries. I get very frustrated when, for example, I get lost and can’t ask for directions. And, perhaps best of all, you can better interact with the locals and feel more immersed in the culture.

So how can the Fluenz language program help?

My favorite language learning program for travel is Fluenz. (Note: this blog post is NOT sponsored.) So now that you know why it’s a good idea to learn languages before travel, you may be wondering why I feel Fluenz is the most effective language program available. It stimulates your motivation to learn, eliminates language learning boredom, and teaches you the most relevant content in the most efficient way, assuming you are learning for travel.

Fluenz German with castle

Write the word you hear exercise

Fluenz language program: best in the biz

Fluenz is the most effective language learning system I’ve ever used, and I’ve tried a lot of them. I’ve even tried classroom instruction at the college level of four different languages. The first benefit to Fluenz is the relevance of the material taught. By the third lesson you are making complete sentences and placing orders in a restaurant. You really feel as though you’re making progress when the material is truly useful. In contrast, some systems encourage rote memorization of single words and not constructing your own sentences, or teach you words like classroom vocabulary that are completely useless in a tourism context. Fluenz is clearly geared specifically towards people interested in travel. And if you want to go beyond travel, the series of lessons is comprehensive enough to reach at least an intermediate level.

Fluenz Portuguese program

Phrase matching exercise

Defeat boredom with Fluenz!

The second benefit of Fluenz is the variety of different exercises that keep you from getting bored. Activities in the Fluenz program are fun and engaging. In contrast, with a lot of other programs you just repeat the same boring tasks over an over. Boredom is a guaranteed recipe for failure. The photos I’ve supplied here show some, but not all, of the exercises available. A microphone session is included, with which you can compare your pronunciation to that of native speakers. This is critical, not only to help you perfect your pronunciation, but also to further reinforce what you are learning. Your memory of the vocabulary and grammar you’re learning will be improved. Have fun learning languages, and you will have far more motivation to continue to fluency!

Fluenz French program

Choose the right image exercise

Beautiful, culturally relevant visuals in Fluenz

The third benefit of Fluenz is the beautiful photos of the countries in which the language you are studying is spoken. Some other systems offer generic visuals, the same for every language, or, worse, no visuals. Stimulate more of your senses during the lesson! Then you will find you are more engaged and motivated. You will remember more when more of your senses are invested. These images are inspiring, and motivate you to keep going. You will long to visit these amazing places, and be immersed in the culture, when you absorb these visuals. The photographs are the biggest factor that has me looking forward to my daily lessons. In addition to the amazing pictures, the interface is sleek and polished, reminiscent of an Adobe or Apple product.

Fluenz Mandarin program

Write the phrase you hear exercise

Downsides to the Fluenz language program

Of course, nothing is perfect, and Fluenz has some downsides. For one, Fluenz is expensive. But once I paid one time for the product I had lifetime access, so it’s a great value. There are no monthly fees or end to access if I stop paying. Second, the selection of languages is limited to Spanish (Latin America or Spain versions), French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Mandarin Chinese. The Chinese teaches pinyin only, no characters. If you want to learn the writing system you’ll need to supplement the program with a character textbook or other source. The limited selection of languages is particularly disappointing for anyone whose goal it is to visit other areas of the world not represented by these languages, or anyone whose dream it is (like mine!) to achieve polyglotism. Fluenz, if you’re reading this, please add more languages!

Fluenz Latin American Spanish with Maccu Piccu

Choose the right answer exercise

Conclusion on Fluenz

Fluenz gets my highest recommendation as a language learning program, particularly for travelers, but also for anyone learning for another reason. It keeps me motivated and engaged in language learning like no other system I’ve ever used!

Link to get Fluenz on Amazon!

View my full review on YouTube here, where you can see the program in action!:

Looking for more language learning content? Check out my Top Ten here!:

My Polyglot Journey: Language Learning for Travel Top Ten!

Visit my YouTube channel here!

Disclaimer: is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. There is absolutely no cost to readers, and all proceeds will be strictly applied to covering the costs of maintaining this blog so that it can continue to serve readers for years to come!