"Check out the Turkish rugs,..." Turkey Favorite Tip by SJM
Turkey General: 528 reviews and 494 photos
Favorite thing: Check out the Turkish rugs, but not in the cities or markets. Travel along the coast or an off-beaten road (the 'captain' of our boat took us to one of his friend's farms) to get the real experience. They 'wine and dine' you under a thatched roof over rugs (made by them, of course), complete with family-style home-cooked food and chickens running about in between courses. An interpreter was helpful, but I doubt the rip-off risk is as high as the streets of Istanbul, or New York City for that matter! The deals are great and the people warm and friendly.
Fondest memory: After Mr. Toad's wild ride from NY to Frankfurt to Istanbul via three different airlines, then a 3-hour van trip over dirt roads at midnight, we arrived at Bodrum at 3 a.m. and found our way to our 'ship' (an 80-foot sailboat) in the dark (can't quite remember how...all the boats looked the same and I don't recall much English being spoken). My friend and I had reserved single cabins, however being last, ended up together and didn't care. After 10 minutes of sleep, we were awakened by the Muslim prayer being chanted *loudly* over the speakers wired all along the dock, and every other point, corner, vessel, shop, home--you name it--in town. This daily pre-dawn ritual is inescapable all throughout the country. A great cultural experience (and haunting at first, until we realized what it was), but also a good incentive to get on a sailboat and cruise the islands for a week!
What did I miss most? I suppose leafy green salads (which is almost always what I miss most in foreign countries), but a small price to pay for all the merits this land has to offer.
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