Hellova Yalova

Yesterday, although it was a Saturday morning and we'd been pulling late nights (for teachers) all week, Jeremy and I set our alarm clock to 6:30 am, so that we could catch the 8:30 Yalova ferry, leaving Yenikapı ferry terminal. It was a little rough getting out of bed that early, but the sun was shining and promises of adventure and hot springs were floating in the air. So we packed our day bags, brought sunglasses to cover up the bags under our eyes and headed out to take the ferry.

The ferry got us across the Marmara Sea to Yalova in about 1 hour and we hopped on a dolmus to go to Termal (where the hot springs were) as soon as we stepped out of the terminal. Termal is a small town with a grouping of hotels, cafes, and picnic areas catering to the hot springs crowd. It is situated in a wood with hiking trails throughout. Ataturk's house is located there and is open for visits, which we skipped this time around. We started the day with a hike, to get an idea of the lay of the land. We made our way to the top of a hill, where around one of the bends, we ran into some adorable calves and admired the beautiful view of the Marmara Sea. We reached the top just in time for the call to prayer, one mosque in the valley seeming to echo the other, like a little brother trying to tag along. After hanging out at the top for a bit, we were eager to get our achy muscles into a hot springs pool and so started back down the trail, even getting a chance to practice our new Turkish adjectives, as I happened to have our Turkish homework in my Mary Poppins bag (along with a coat hanger and a frilly parasol).

 The hot springs were basically a heated pool lined with lawn chairs. Couples lingered lazily in the water, meandering languidly from one end of the pool to the next. We observed numerous belly flops- attempts to impress their better halves, perhaps? The warm water felt nice and feeling the sun, after what has seemed like an endless winter felt amazing. I have to say that I had expected something a little different when I was told about the hot springs at Yalova- maybe something that looked a little less like the Days Inn poolside. Still, it was great to get out of the city, walk around in the woods, and get a bit of fresh air.

Calves on the road

Gorgeous view from the top of our hike
 After the hot springs, we hopped  back on the dolmus to head back to Yalova. We took a stroll on the seafront and stopped at an outdoors Kebap place called Divan Kebap for an early dinner before taking the ferry back to the 'Bul. An hour out of the city and across the Marmara, Yalova was definitely worth a visit. Its seaside promenade, full of narghile cafes, fish restaurants, and excited teenagers, felt like summer. And, of course since it was a sunny day, we came across a waterside shooting gallery, with a large crowd of teenagers eagerly waiting for their turn to impress. It was a beautiful day.
No sunny day would be complete, without a waterside shooting gallery!

Rebel without a cause


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