Thursday, May 27, 2010

30th April 2010 - 19th May 2010 - Turkey

What do you want for dinner? Kebab?

So we’ve been in Turkey for just under 3 weeks now and are about to fly to Amsterdam tomorrow morning. Turkey really has felt like a transitional country due to the fact that the food and people would appear to be Asian, but the scenery, lifestyle and cost is much more European! This cross continental mix really adds to the charm of Turkey which is already filled to the brim with attractions such as beautiful Mediterranean beaches, magnificent ruins and architecture and an ancient and modern history that would rival that of any other country in the world. (I have clearly been reading the Lonely Planet a lot, as that spiel sounded like something from a guide book.)

Since writing that first paragraph we are now in Bruge having been to Amsterdam and Gent… I guess I just got lazy… anywhoo back to Turkey…

There’s no real need to go into too much detail about our trip through Turkey, mainly because it all went so smoothly and if you want to read anything historical about the place just use google or visit your local library.

Olympos (not Olympus)

Backgammon - what we did in Turkey

We’ll give a brief run down of our itinerary though. We started in Antalya on the south coast of Turkey on the Mediterranean and made our way along the coast stopping off at various towns along the way. Generally we just spent our time swimming in the sea, drinking tea, eating kebabs, playing backgammon, and eating more kebabs. Olympos was a stand out for me, as it was just a place to not do much at all except relax and swim, however I believe the place would be a nightmare in the summer when hoards and hoards of British pack backers swamp the place. All we had to deal with was the remnants of a large New Zealand Anzac day tour for one night.

Sheena (and sunburnt Brits) on a boat
to Kekova Island

Kekova Island

The Gozleme Boat!

So other than the Mediterranean (where I jumped off lots of boats), we also visited ancient Epheseus with it’s amazing ruins and undertook the mandatory solemn pilgrimage to Gallipoli, (we skipped Troy as from all accounts there is nothing there!).

Sunset in Selcuk - Notice the stone temple above
Sheena's head? That's the last remaining column from
the Artemis Temple, one of the original 7 Wonders of the world.


Anzac Cove, Gallipoli

We stayed in the trendy new area of Istanbul, Beyoglu, rather than the old town where all the sights and the majority of accommodation are. This was not only due to the dirt cheap yet fantastic new hostel we found but also because we were nearer all the night life and restaurants. This worked well for us as we thoroughly explored many restaurants and cafes at night having spent the day a short tram ride away visiting all of Istanbul’s fantastic historic sights such as the Blue Mosque and the amazing Aya Sofia with it‘s stunning mosaics.

Sheena's Baklava photo, Istanbul - possibly the best
photo taken on our trip!

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Mosaics in the Aya Sofia, Istanbul

The Aya Sofia, Istanbul

So we finished our Asian portion of the trip in Istanbul where the prices are very European. We would definitely like to go back to Turkey as we feel there’s more exploring to be done, especially in the eastern portion of the country where the scenery and outdoor activities are meant to be awesome. We also have a bit of regret having not made the effort to go to Cappadoccia or Gaziantep (180 baklava shops in one town!). Oh well, we can’t do everything…

So now we’re in Europe where we feel like big dags wearing our rumpled clothes with holes in them… Time for a beer.


The Blue Mosque as seen from
the Bosphorus

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