My husband, son and I spent 10 days in Turkey at the end of May. Our first stop, for the first 5 days, was in a small village called Kapikiri by the Bafa Lake. The Bafa Lake is located about half way between Izmir and Bodrum on the Aegean coast. While the region is mostly known for beach resorts, Kapikiri has a very different charm: a 300-people village, sitting on the ruins of the old greek city of Herakleia by the quiet lake, living by the rhythm of cows, roosters and sheep. All houses are built using stones from the surrounding ruins. Now the entire village stands under protection as an historical monument. The road ends at Kapikiri, so things are really quiet there.... a whole different world. At the same time, the location is perfect for day-excursions to nearby cultural sights (Ephesus, Miletus, Priene, Dydima - all so worthwhile) and to sea-side locations such as Bodrum and Dilek Peninsula. For us, it was a perfect choice. We could take advantage of all the sightseeing of the region during the day and enjoy very relaxing evenings in the village. Our son loved that part of the program. Because the villagers are so friendly, they quickly understood his interest in farm animals and invited him to feed the sheep, run after the chicken, pet the dogs... He was so excited. Ruins in the middle of the village While the city is still small and quiet, I expect that tourists are soon going to catch on this hidden treasure. Already, pensions are opening left and right: there are about 10 right now. We stayed in the pension "Agora", probably one of the oldest in the village. It's managed by a couple and their 2 sons. They are very friendly (they accommodated our travel and meal schedule, which was a little bit challenging) and knowledgeable about the area. The meals they offer are excellent: fresh ingredients from the village (cheese, fish, produce) mixed with a great ability to cook them to perfection. The local wine is also good, although it's from a town across the mountain (and therefore not "local" according to the owners!). I would definitely recommend for anyone who is traveling in the area.
I was recently talking to a friend about places to go in Central America, one of our favorite regions to visit. She was primarily interested in Costa Rica, which is a wonderful place, no doubt. But as I was about to write to her, I decided to do a round up of our trips in Central America. You can't go wrong with any of these destinations. They are all wonderful in their own ways, but below are our favorites to date. 1. Roatan I think the big gem of Latin America is Roatan (island in Honduras). We had the best time there: great beach, warm water, amazing snorkeling, jungle access. Flight there was convenient and affordable (red eye through El Salvador). I can’t think of any Con at this point. We are hoping to go back to Roatan later this year (which is very unusual for us to go to the same place twice, so this says something!) 2. Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica Even during the rainy season, this was a highlight for us. Tortuguero is Wow! Amazing! Great jungle; turtles (at the right