It’s time for another monthly recap. I can’t believe that it’s already December and I’ve been on the road for three months. I went through kind of a mental breakdown in Bulgaria, and after that, I decided to slow down. I rented an apartment in Istanbul and stayed there for three weeks. I visited Cappadocia and Pamukkale in Turkey, but other than that I took it easy.
Countries Visited: Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey = 3
Cities / Towns visited: Albania: Durres, Berat, Saranda, Tirana; Bulgaria: Sofia, Rila; Turkey: Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale
New Countries: Bulgaria = 1
Definitely a slow month… Only one new country??
Country Count: 71/197
Modes of Transportation Taken: Bus, minibus, hot air balloon, car (hitchhiking)
Places I’ve Slept in: Hostel, apartment, bus
Nights without bed: 4
I don’t know how this number increased. Last month it was three, and I was hoping to get it to zero…
A hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia was the highlight of the month. It’s been on my bucket list forever, so it was incredible to experience it finally. It was cold and snowing in Cappadocia. I was freezing my butt off during the ride, but it didn’t matter because the views were spectacular!
Getting 7000 new Instagram followers in a month (At the end of October, I had less than 1000 followers on Instagram. Then on 7th of November, I started taking Instagram more seriously, and I now have more than 7000 followers. My goal for December is to reach 10k! I’m thinking about writing a blog post about this if you are interested to know what I did.
The whole month has been extremely challenging. It was a good decision to stay in Istanbul for a while, and I’m doing better now.
Albania: I already mentioned Albania in my previous Monthly Recap, but because I was traveling there during November as well, I’ll mention it again. One of the highlights in Albania was The Blue Eye, Syri i Kalter, which is a freshwater spring where the water bubbles from a more than fifty-meter-deep pool. Check out the picture above!
Istanbul: Istanbul is my all-time favorite city, and I really enjoyed my time there. I ate amazing vegan food, watched many beautiful sunsets and petted hundreds of cute stray cats.
Cappadocia: Cappadocia has been my dream destination for ages. I didn’t go there last time I visited Istanbul, so now it was time. I have to admit that I had no clue it was going to be so cold. When I got there, it was like -5 degrees Celsius and snowing. I did the famous hot air balloon ride and the Red Tour which takes you to different sights around the area. I did enjoy my time in Cappadocia, even though I was slightly freezing all the time.
Soul Kitchen, Sofia: This cute little restaurant is a must visit if you are in Sofia. It’s 100% vegan, and the food is tasty and creative. I ate a dinner there three times, and I was never disappointed.
Falafel Zone, Istanbul: If you are craving falafel while you are in Istanbul, this is the place to go! The food menu is all vegan, and they offer everything from falafel burgers to salads. Also, try their homemade lemonade, it’s the best! Everything is very affordable and tasty; the owners are friendly and welcoming – what more can you ask for?
Community Kitchen, Istanbul: The one and only vegan restaurant in Istanbul! The owner is a lovely, cat-loving woman and there are always cats hanging around in the restaurant. As a cat fan, this is always a huge bonus for me. The menu changes daily, but here are a few dishes I tried: lentil soup, vegan kebab (made of seitan), pasta, wraps and vegan baklava. Everything was always freshly prepared homemade food. It’s a real “community kitchen” as there is communal seating and the atmosphere is always warm and homely.
A couple watching the sunset in Lisbon. I was in Lisbon two months ago, but I only shared this picture yesterday when I posted my Top Things to Do in Lisbon.
Coming up in December 2016
It was a good idea to take it easy this month, but now I’m ready to see the world! So a lot of traveling coming up this month! I’m currently just about to take a flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. I’m also planning to visit Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. After that the plans are still open, I don’t know if I will visit some other places in the Middle East as well. However, in January I’ll fly to Cape Town and start my overland trip from Cape Town to Cairo.