In continuing the spirit of the blog we created over 2 years ago when we started our 7 month trip around the world trip we thought we should bring it alive again and write a short piece on our recent 2 week trip to Turkey (We promise it wont be too long!)
So we started off by spending 3 nights in Istanbul and the first thing that struck us about Turkey was the friendliness of the people. As we arrived in at the airport trying to find the shuttle bus into the centre of Istanbul the first thing we were offered by the guy on the information desk was some bread with cheese- this was before we had even been sent in the right direction for the bus - i can only conclude that we must have looked hungry and exhausted after our middle of the night flight from Maarseille. For most of the first day we wondered aimlessly around the Bezoglu side of the city taking in its bohemian atmosphere and the numerous sights and smells which surrounded us. There was so much shopping here (much to Cedric's disgust!) and we spent some time acquiring various pieces of furniture along the way.....
We ate so well in this city (amongst the cats and dogs!) a mixture of mezes, kebabs and fish -food was always in abundance no matter which restaurant we ate at. Be aware- a tip for those wanting to visit Turkey- when someone tries to entice you into their restaurant with a great price make sure you or they write down how much you have negotiated between you- that way 15 and 50 does not becomes confused at the bill stage- a lesson we learnt the hard way! Luckily we challenged the bill and compromised on a sum a good job as we had left all the credit cards at the hotel (call it a 'feeling' this was going to happen!)
After having taken in all the sites across Istanbul including the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar and having walked all around the city at length, 3 days later we jumped on a plane direction - Cappadocia.
On arrival we found out the airport was over an hours drive away (low cost airline off course!) and so after not having reserved a taxi we bumped into 2 Canadian girls and shared a taxi with them to our hotel. Cappadocia was the highlight of this trip for us and we could not put into words enough to justify this immense beauty of this area. Staying at an amazing hotel in a small village about 3km away from the tourist hub of Goreme (www.motelgreen.com/en/66/CAPPADOCIA.html) of course helped to make this experience even richer. This family run hotel were so friendly and open and did everything they could to help us during our stay there. We also got to know the locals in the village! Most days we spent hiking around the area (on some routes this could be described more like climbing!) and exploring the valleys all around. On our third morning there we went up in a hot air balloon, a present for Cedric's 40th birthday. The rest of the time we just relaxed in our cave room and chatted with the owners of the hotel.
Towards the end of our stay in Cappadocia we got talking with one of the French tour guides who put us in touch with a guide in Kas- our next destination along the meditteranean coast and she helped us find a room which came with a beautiful sea view. Kas was quite a special place. Not so overun with tourists as most of the resorts along Turkey's Meditteranean coast and with Crystal clear blue waters we couldn't avoid jumping on a boat and heading out there for a snorkel. The town lit up at night and with all the boats in the harbour it was a spectacular place to be. One night we met up with the guide who had helped us find a room and got to know a lot of the locals who lived in Kas- a lot of them from all over the world.....
After having our rental car fixed, we continued along the coast towards Karakoy, a small village situated just outside of Fethiye. We only spent one night here but found a little restaurant with a jazz band playing and beautiful garden surroundings. The owners were from Turkey and Morocco and their waiter was from Ecuador- long conversations were had with him that evening!
Our final destination before returning to Istanbul and London was Dalyan. This city has the logo of a turtle representing it as they have a specific type of turtle swimming in the waters around the town called the Caretta, Caretta turtle. After having found an amazing place to stay for the 3 final nights (http://muratpasakonagi.com/EN) of our holidays we relaxed in the knowledge we would have to return to reality in the UK shortly. We took a boat trip down the beautiful Dalyan river, had a mud bath, got stung by a Hornet (that was me!) found a hedgehog in our room as we went to go to sleep and ate at a great restaurant by the river with a view over the illuminated tombs in the rocks of Caunos.
Overall the Mediterranean coast was a little too touristic for us but we nevertheless had an amazing time and managed to find some quaint spots along the way.
The country of Apple Tea and Baklava inspired us to see more of this huge country- next stop the east of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan- when is another question.
Güle güle for now.....