Yesterday we traveled from Istanbul to Canakkale, an oceanside town six hours south of Istanbul. The bus route went along the coast of the Aegean Sea, past many small villages and pasture lands. The highlight of the ride for me was seeing a farmer (Shepard?) with a flock of sheep–so lovely! The final leg of the journey to Canakkale was a short ferry ride from the European side of Turkey to the Asian side of Turkey.
Canakkale (pronounced ‘cha-NA-kah-lay’) is a city of around 100,000 people, a major step down from Istanbul’s population of 14 million. It is really, really nice to be in a less urban and intense place for a few days. And from here we will be going to an even smaller town called Ayvalik (population 37,000).
After checking into our hotel, our evening was spent wandering through the side streets of Canakkale, trying ayran (a delicious buttermilk drink) for the first time, and enjoying some wicked-good Turkish street food for dinner. Then we came back to the hotel and fell into a deep sleep–can I admit that last night was the best sleep we have had so far on this trip. Hooray for good rest!
Today we are taking a tour of Galipoli, which means taking the ferry back to the European side of Turkey. We are getting ready to head down to the ferry dock soon, so I shall sign off with a proper Turkish goodbye: “Hoşca kalın!”