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Posted in: Travels
Turkey Trip

May 4-15 2012

Having long harbored a desire to explore the remains of the Hittite civilization, springtime in Turkey turned out to be perfect for our visits to ancient sites as well as to enjoy the natural beauty of the Cappadocia, Lycia, Galatia and Ionia countryside.

Overlooking the Bosphorus from TopKapi Palace

Our journey took us in a wide arc of approximately 3,800 kms through such wonderful cities as Pamukkale, Aksaray, Konya, Denizli, Fethiye, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Troy, Pergamon and Canakkale. We also enjoyed the historic city of Istanbul for 3 nights as well as Ankara and Gelibolu (Gallipoli). Not only did we get educated on the Hittite (and pre-Hittite) eras, we also learned so much about the early Greek period, the Roman period and then the early Christian chaotic period, leading to the long Byzantium era and on into the Ottoman Empire and of course the modern era founded by Attaturk.

Haghia Sophia

Urgup, Cappadocia

Library Facade, Ephesus

palace on the Bosphorus

 

Best ancient site: Hieropolis (Home to a beautiful Amphitheatre plus much more from the Roman period)

Best Mosque:  Konya (Mevlana cult founded by a Dervish mystic)

Biggest Mosque: Blue Mosque

Biggest Byzantium Church: Haghia St. Sophia

Best Palace: Topkapi

Best Natural Wonder: Weathered Phalic Formations-Cappadocia

Best Lunch: Tennis Club, Denizli (great lamb)

Best Dinner: Haci Baba, Istanbul (great everything)

Best Accomodation: They were all excellent!

Most Haunting: Gallipoli

Most Important Monument to Contemporary Turks: Attaturk Mausoleum, Ankara

Best Inland Sea Journey: Bosphorus Cruise

Best Sailing Cruise: Fethiye Bay, Mediterranean

Best Aegean Sea Experience: Ferry from Canakkale to Thrace (Dardanelles)

Best Nightclub: Kervansaray, Istanbul (lithe and flexible Belly Dancers)

Best Market: Spice Market, Istanbul

Best Bazaar: Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

Biggest Thank You: Mustafa, whose knowledge of his country’s history is now legendary! We enjoyed this young man’s company and thoughtfulness, without which we would have not appreciated just what wonderful hosts the Turkish people are.

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