"Turkey" Turkey by skullcrusher
Turkey Travel Guide: 24,412 reviews and 69,885 photos
Let me just say that Turkey is a beautiful country with great, hospitable people. If you love tea as much as I do then you're in for a treat because you'll often be invited for a cup or two by the friendly locals. The landscape is varied and has a lot of history behind it. Few people seem to realize that some of the most important Roman sites aren't in Greece but Turkey. The food is tasty and of high quality. Prices for accomodation, travel, etc. are quite cheap. I've found that one of the best aspects of Turkey is simply chatting it up with the friendly and helpful Turk's themselves - even when you have no idea what they're saying.
ISTANBUL (formerly Constantinople) - despite being a large and busy city it has managed to maintain an old-world charm about it. There's much to do and see. I found the old part of town (Sultanhamet) to be compact and much easier to navigate than I figured it would be. The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofya are two of a number of sites you can visit. Don't let the carpet dealers get on your nerve too much. Outside of the main tourist area you get a better feel of the real Istanbul and you can find other things to do and see. If you have time, take a cruise up the Bosphorous.
DENIZLI - is a moderate sized town in the Western Anatolia. Not a bad place to spend a day or so.
PAMUKKALE - not far from Denizli, it is a very nice small village. I spent two days here and would have liked to have spent more. It was a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. From here it is a short hike to the Travertines (beautifully formed calcium deposits) and the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. If you visit Hierapolis on your own you can take the time to see other good ruins that the folks on the organized tours miss out on. Plus it just makes for a nice hike. This whole area is surrounded by mountains on all sides.
SELCUK - is a small town in South Aegean portion of Turkey that's very close to the ruins of Ephesus. I spent quite a bit of time here and really had a great time. It's here that I feel I started to get a good impression of Turkish life. It should be noted that Western Turkey has more of a European influence and isn't as conservative as in central or eastern parts of the country. Anyway .... I really liked the people there. There's a castle on a hill that overlooks the town and it's probably one of the first things you'll notice as you approach the city. After visiting Ephesus check this place out.
EPHESUS - Most folks come to this part of Turkey to visit Ephesus - and for good reason. Definitely worth a visit. I met an Englishman who said he's been there nine times! I don't know if it's THAT impressive but you'll certainly burn some film here.
IZMIR - a large, busy city in western Turkey which is a major transportation hub. Some people like the city but I made it a point to spend as little time there as possible.
BERGAMA (formerly Pergamum) - another city with a lot of history. I found it to be a pleasant town and if you're in the area you should check out the Roman ruins of the Acropolis and Asclepion.
AYVALIK & DIKILI - are two nice little North Aegean coastal towns. Good places to unwind and forget about the "rat race" for a while.
CANAKKALE - This town is well known (and often visited) by Kiwis and Aussies, esp during April 25th - which they call Anzac Day. I was lucky enough to arrive after this so it wasn't too crowded. The town was bigger than I thought it would be- but I still found it very cool. There's enough to keep you busy for a day or two. If you want to visit the old battlefields either this town or the town of Eceabat (on the other side of the Dardanelles) make for a good base.
Since I never made it over to the central & eastern parts of Turkey I'll have to return and see that area later. It will be my pleasure. Confidentially I must boast that I entered Turkey without a rug and I left the country the same way. :-) Who need rugs? By far the best thing you can take from the country is the memory of friends you've made there.
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