World Travel 2013-2014, Turkey Wrap Up

  • Overall what we did: 13 days split into: 2 days in Bodrum, 2 days in Selçuk, 1 day in Denizli and Pamukkale, 4 days in Göreme and 4 days in Istanbul from 23 May 2014 to 5 June 2014
  • Favourite part of Turkey: Hmm, it would have to be the hot air ballooning, or the delicious food. Food is always a good thing!
  • Key tip: Bargain a little, eat lots of food and enjoy the beautiful scenery!
  • Cultural points:
    • Mosques: As with all mosques, ensure you are appropriately covered. The mosques in Istanbul provide free to use coverings for both your head and body, but it’s always nicer to have your own items (and also more respectful I think to be covered when you’re on the grounds as well rather than just inside the mosque)
    • Bargaining: Bargaining is expected in bazaars, and also even with tours (we bargained with the hot air ballooning). As always, just be friendly and polite and if you’re not comfortable with the price, walk away. Personally though, I think you can expect to pay higher prices in Turkey than other prices – don’t expect to be able to bargain the price down by a significant amount like you may be able to do in other countries
    • Stray Animals: You will see a lot of cats and a few dogs around Turkey. I wouldn’t recommend patting them (animals can have all sorts of diseases), but have to admit that there were a couple of very friendly cats and kittens that decided my lap looked pretty comfy…
  • Highlights: Hot air ballooning, relaxing in Istanbul and playing with kittens. I don’t think anything can improve your day faster or make you feel better when you’re not feeling so great as when you pat an animal
  • Best Experience: Without a doubt, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia. AMAZING! My face hurt from smiling too much after the hot air ballooning – it was that good!
  • Floating across another valley, Turkey

    Floating across another valley, Turkey

  • Worst Experience: I think the worst experience would have to be either the discomfort of the night buses (seriously, who runs a 11 hour bus without a toliet on board?), or the distinct lack of kitchens in basically all of the hostels. I’m beginning to think that a kitchen is a key requirement of any accommodation as it’s nice to at the minimum just have a kettle to boil some water for a coffee… Fortunately we did find a hostel in Istanbul with a kitchen.
  • Must See Attraction: Cappadocia. Even if you don’t do the hot air ballooning (which you should if you can), the scenery is spectacular and is great for hiking around
  • Most Over-hyped Attraction: Pamukkale. We arrived and it was a super tiny tourist town, the food was of course over priced and low quality and the mineral deposits just didn’t look that interesting to us. In the end we didn’t pay the entry fee, just wandered around the town and outside of the deposits for a bit before heading off to Cappadocia
  • Would I go back? Yes and no. It’s a great country to visit so I would happily return for that reason, but I think Takeshi and I accomplished a lot during our nearly two weeks in Turkey so I feel comfortable not having to return as well. I don’t have any strong desire to go to Gallipoli so I’m happy with what we have seen and done in Turkey.

    I’m amazed we spent nearly two weeks in Turkey! The time has really flown by, and it definitely hasn’t felt like we’ve spent so long in this country 🙂

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