Kail and I returned to Istanbul for our second trip in two months. This time, we also took a short side trip to Cappadocia and Ephesus.Goreme Panorama | CappadociaI was admittedly a bit nervous about traveling there, what with the airport attack the week before our trip. Then there was the coup attempt the week after our trip. I’m glad we returned, and don’t know if we’ll plan another visit during the remainder of our time in the Middle East.Library of Celsus | EphesusStrangely enough, tourism seemed normal and more crowded than I expected. It was the week of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, so that may have had something to do with it. The airport showed no signs of three deadly explosions the previous week. People were walking around Istanbul, visiting tourism sites and shopping. Our tour group to Cappadocia and Ephesus included seven or eight other travelers from Singapore, Mexico and the U.S.Beautiful Blue MosqueShopkeepers and merchants with whom we spoke (yes, we bought more carpets and ceramics!) indicated that business has been down. They were appreciative of our purchases. That’s how I justified them.Swanky hotel room in IstanbulWe arrived to Istanbul in the late morning one day, and had less than 24 hours to spend in the city before an early (4:00 a.m.) airport pickup for a domestic flight to Nevsehir Kapadokya Airport. At the recommendation of a friend, we opted to stay in a boutique hotel, Witt Istanbul Suites, in the trendy Cihangir neighborhood. We had stayed in the lovely Hotel Ibrahim Pasha Sultanahmet during our previous trip, and stayed there again our last two nights in Istanbul this time around.Ibrahim Pasha is right next to the Blue Mosque, but from Cihangir you get across-the-river panoramic views of Sultanahmet. We also had a chance to explore the famous Istaklal Street and Taksim Square.In CappadociaI’ll write more about our trips to Cappadocia and Ephesus in future posts. For now, here are a couple more photo highlights from our second visit to Turkey.Inside the Blue MosqueThe Great Theatre at EphesusNear Uchisar Castle | CappadociaIf you had the chance to revisit a vacation destination, where would you go?