Turkey, 2013

First attempt.. first attempt..

I have always wanted to go to Turkey, especially Istanbul. A lot of my friends have traveled there and they said Turkey is marvellous. And yes, I couldn’t agree more. Plus, you don’t need to work on your visa. Once you arrived there, they will stamp your passport and give you the permission to enter the country. Hail to visa on arrival!

Okay, so I went to Turkey on August with my sister and dad. My dad was the one who arranged this trip. We took an overnight flight that was operated by Turkish Airlines and arrived in the next morning. It was summer in there, and I’m telling you.. if you’re not a fan of hot temperatures, don’t go in summer.

Highlights of Turkey

1. Dondurma (Turkish Ice Cream)

Turkish ice cream is…. somewhat very delicious…. Tried them for the first time and bought 5 more. They called it ‘Dondurma’ in there. It was really creamy and soft and silk and tasty. Oh my, I’m craving for one right now! Too bad I don’t have the picture of them. Fyi, they were made out of goat’s milk! It is commonly soldin the vendor’s carts and store fronts. The vendors often tease the customers with a stick, serving it in a cone and taking it back with the stick. Hilarious! (Price: 3TRY-10TRY/cone)

2. Hot air balloon ride (Cappadocia, Turkey)

I have never experience this before, so this was my first timeriding a hot air balloon. One word: Wicked! We booked a flight from Kapadokya Kaya Balloons (www.kapadokyakayaballoons.com). There were several choices about the flights and we ended up choosing the standard one. The company picked us up at our hotel, very very early in the morning, like at 4am maybe? (via minibuses) and transported us to the take-off site. It was a 60 minutes flight. Afterwards, they gave us champagne to celebrate the so-called landing. Highly recommended. Here are some pictures: (Price: U$250/person)

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3. Ephesus Ancient City

Now, Ephesus Ancienty City lies 3 kms southwest of the town of Selçuk – Izmir. If you are crazy about historical sites, you should definitely go here. It was worth the visit. Okay, so more about the history of Ephesus: In the year of 10 BC, Androclos, the son of King of Athens-Kodros, was searching a location for establishing a site. Androclos belonged to Akhas, was running from the Dor invasion in Greece. He was leading one of the migration convoys. It was predicted by an Apollon oracle that a fish and a boar would show the location of the new settlement. Days later, parallel to the oracle’s prediction, while frying, a fish fell down from the pan, irritating a hiding boar behind the bushes. The feared boar escaped immediately. Androclos followed the boar and established the city of Ephesus, where he had killed the boar. When Androclos died in the wars with Carians, a mausoleum was built to the memory of the first king of Ephesus. The mausoleum is considered to be placed around “The Gate of Magnesia“. Google it for more! P.S.: don’t wear high heels or expensive shoes in here, it will be all dusty! (Price: U$32-U$60/person ; depending on the amount of hours)

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4. Pigeon Valley (Cappadocia, Turkey)

Great spot to photograph the city of Cappadocia, cheap souvenirs shops, and there’s this tree where they put up all kind of evil-eye (the blue eye). You may be wondering what’s the evil eye stands for. Well, the evil eye is basically a look that many cultures (especially here in Turkey) believe able to cause misfortune for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of envy or dislike so then Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called “evil eyes.”

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5. Uchisar Village (Cappadocia, Turkey))

I was eating my fourth cone of Dondurma. Believe me, it tastes sooo good. There are actually churches, kitchen, etc inside of these caves. There are few local people that’s still living in those caves, but most of them are open for tourist.

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6. Cotton Castle (Pamukkale, Denizli Provence)

Don’t forget to stop at these gorgeous hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water! Definitely worth the long trip in the coach. P.S.: Bring some extra clothes!

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7. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Galata Tower, Taksim Square (Istanbul, Turkey)

On my very last day in Turkey, I went to the blue mosque. It was just perfect! In a walking distance, you can reach Hagia Sophia. Funny facts on Hagia Sophia: it was actually a church then it was a mosque, and nowadays it’s just a museum. And you can see the Virgin Mary is next to the arabic calligraphy which stands for ‘Allah’ and ‘Muhammad’ (scroll down to see the pic!). On my last day, I took a bus to the Taksim Square and shopped a bit in there. Then, I just had to try the Old Tramp and I ended up walking a couple of kilometers and found this beauty called Galata Tower (Turkish: Galata Kulesi).

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Well, that was all. I really hope you would enjoy Turkey as much as I do! 🙂

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