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Istanbul/ Cappadocia

Written on: Friday September 19th, 2014

A journal entry from: Europe 2014

It's a short flight from Amsterdam to Istanbul (3 hours) but the two cities are worlds apart. Istanbul straddles West/East, Europe/Asia with aplomb. Having absorbed the culture from the two entities it radiates them back with charm and sophistication. We spent 3 days there but could have easily stayed a month. With some good advice from friends we stayed in a cute little pension mere steps from the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque. Being so close we were able to set a regime of early morning sightseeing (to avoid SOME of the crowds) and afternoon walking though as many areas as we could. We were able to do the Bosphorus Cruise, the Grand Bazar, an amazing spice market and much more while imbibing some of that amazing Turkish cuisine. Our only disappointment is that as Turkey is a country of practicing Muslims the liquor taxes make the price of wine extremely high even though the country produces some very nice vintages. 

While we are trying to avoid flying as much as possible Turkey is a large country so, as a time saver, we took a flight to a place called Cappadocia, an amazing area found pretty much in the centre. Cappadocia has become a prime tourist destination largely because of its amazing rock formations as well as its troglodyte dwellings carved out of the rock. From the many  towns and villages in the area we chose to stay in Goreme a cute little village whose major attraction is the hot air ballon flights that take off over the village at sunrise every morning. At $250 a pop this was a little rich for our modest budget but we did awaken at 5:30 in the morning to witness their flight. It was well worth the lack of sleep as the sight of over one hundred ballons in the air at the same time was truly amazing. A much cheaper way of experiencing the area is, of course, by hiking and we have spent the last three days tramping up and down the area's beautiful valleys and exploring the many churches and inhabitations from an earlier era.

 

From Anne & Pat on Sep 19th, 2014

So pleased that you've enjoyed your time in Turkey! Great photos which are serving as reminders of our fabulous month spent in this unique country! Cappadocia -who knew a place like this existed in the world - and so accessible for exploring. Enjoy!!

From Jean Millar on Sep 19th, 2014

"Istanbul straddles West/East with aplomb. Having absorbed the culture from the two entities, it radiates them back with charm and sophistication." HEY! This is the kind of stuff travel writers get PAID to write. This blog entry reads like an article, and should be submitted to a travel publication----BCAA, an airline magazine, travel section of Vancouver Sun, North Shore News, or other newspaper or wherever; you know the sources better than I. Submit the whole thing, as is, complete with photos. The article makes me want to go there, and tells me everything I need to know if I do go. Isn't that the point of travel writing?

From Marilyn & Wayne on Sep 20th, 2014

Great pictures....if you make it to the west coast, take in Kusadasi - what a fantastic set of ruins!!

From Fam.Dekkers on Sep 21st, 2014

Hello! What a nice pictures and very nice to hear your enjoying yourselfs. I would recomment to travel by bus also so you can see al lot of the real live and the beautifull nature turkey has. If you stay at the south coats ask turkish people of they could take you to à " yayla" one day thats à kind of valley in the mountains. Have à very nice stay! Maaike, Betsie en Jacques