Ancient ruins dotted the landscape to the south, toward the Mediterranean coastline. One standout trip was to the ruins at Ephesus. There were no tourists there on that bitterly cold day, just my three travelling companions and a local guide. Another treasured memory: haggling for hours to buy a hand-knotted Turkish carpet. Naturally, this included many cups of tea.
It was a short ferry ride (an adventure in itself!) to exotic Istanbul, with its pungent spice bazaar and slender minarets. The Grand Bazaar offered a variety of colorful wares, with vendors addressing shoppers in a cacophony of languages. I never tired of strolling through the old graveyards, the Topkapi museum, or the Dolmabachi Palace.
The smell of kebabs cooking can transport me back to Turkey in an instant!
For more information on Carlene’s upcoming novel, A Hero’s Homecoming, visit http://inspiredromancenovels.com and click on "coming soon."