Greetings from Turkey! And greetings from the *cue spooky music* third trimester!
I am enjoying both.
Whenever I told people we would be travelling to Turkey in August, I got two common responses. I was not quite sure how to respond to either of them.
1 ) Turkey! That’s amazing! I have always wanted to go there. I am so jealous!
2) Turkey? *skeptical look* How many weeks pregnant will you be?
I am cleared for travel until the standard 34 weeks. The trip is going well, even though I must admit that in each new town, I have wondered where the nearest good hospital might be … not something I usually worry about on vacation. I am also travelling with a fetal heart rate monitor, just in case I start to get (more) paranoid. Pavo seems to have really active days, then need a day of rest. The day of rest makes me worried, and I start wondering more about the hospitals. But then I get a friendly kick in the ribs to let me know all is well.
Many people asked if this is our “babymoon.” It is, in that this is our last big trip before the baby is born … and likely one of our last international vacations for a while. (Though we do want to take at least one more before our child is 2 and requires a plane ticket … perhaps before the baby is independently mobile.) But the truth is we did not plan it that way — we just wanted to go to Turkey and August is the only time I can get much vacation. In fact, I think we thought our trip to Chile and Argentina two years ago would be our last big jaunt. That was followed by trips to Mexico, Spain… the Grand Canyon … One of the few upsides of waiting for baby was filling the time with travel.
The trip has been great thus far. I did fall asleep each time I sat down (literally) on our second day here. but I am going to chalk that one up to jetlag, as it has not been as bad since. The heat and the climbing of hills and old ruins is hard. I truly can’t believe I hiked the Grand Canyon 21 weeks ago. Scaling much smaller hills is hard now.
While climbing around a rather steep cliffside monstery. an Italian woman said to me, “You will give birth to a baby that will be a boy or girl of culture.”
Let’s hope exposure in utero can help!
Turkey is amazing. It is the kind of country where you can have this kind of day (really!):
Wake up in a treehouse.
Eat a delicious breakfast of eggs, cheese, olives and tomatoes.
Put on bathing suit.
Walk through 3rd-ish century ruins of Olympos to get to one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.
Scale a hill to look out from a Genovese castle at the bay. On the way, pass two people surrounded by Efes bottles who apparently spent the night drinking beer and sleeping in a cave between the ruins and the beach.
Climb down the hill. Swim in calm, crystal-blue Mediterranean waters. Float on your back.
“Bathe” in a freshwater pool from a stream that leads into the ocean bay.
Get in the car, drive to Myra, home to ancient ruins and the former bispopric of Saint Nicholas. Walk around ruins, Lycian tombs on a hillside and a huge amphitheatre. See St. Nicholas’s church. Attempt to buy an icon for a friend. In a strange turn of events, everyone speaks to you in Russian.
Eat ice cream and cherry slush.
Drive on a windy road, along a cliffside that looks down. alternately over the bright blue Mediterranean or a kajillion greenhouses (for tomatoes?).
Arrive in Fethiye. Book an all day boat tour with lunch that will cost 20 dollars. Walk along the harbor. Eat fresh grilled fish. Walk back to hotel, by way of 24-hour baklava bakery.
A good day in Turkey. Good night.