Friday, July 22, 2011
While I'm recovering from some awful 11 hour jet lag, there's a guest post I wrote up on Yes and Yes about traveling through Turkey. Much more specific details can be found here below.
In 2005 I spent four months living in Ankara, Turkey. Spending nearly every weekend on an overnight bus trip to somewhere else, I was able to hit everywhere except the North, bordering the Black Sea. Definitely worth a visit...or five.
|9/16/05||A bus to Antalya and a Dolmuş to Olympos, a crazy backpacker town.|
Stay in cabins on stilts at Saban Pension. Walk 5 minutes to the Mediterranean. Wander the ruins in the woods. Climb cliffs on the beach.
|9/18/09||Spend the day looking at the Ottoman houses in Antalya's old quarter.|
|9/24/05||A three day organized tour of Kapadokya. See the fairy chimneys, the Three Beauties, Uçisar castle, Paşabağ Valley, hidden churches, and the Göreme Open Air Museum.|
|10/7/05||Overnight train to Istanbul. The Hippodrome, Aya Sofya, Obelisk of Theodosius, Galata Bridge (my favorite), Turkey-Germany soccer game, and nightlife on Istiklal Caddesi.|
Take a ferry to the European side, and watch the sun rise over the Bosphorous.
|10/15/05||Head to Hattuşa, ancient capital of the Hittites.|
Get stranded for a weekend, with only three dictionaries and no luggage.
Look at old, old ruins. Eat fresh bread from the village bakery for lunch. Fresh apples from a farmer on the street who feels bad that you're walking all the way to Sungurlu.
|10/25/05||Dad visits, take him to Pamukkale. |
Walk barefoot up a hill of calcium deposits. View the travertines. Swim with Roman ruins in natural mineral baths. Walk around the ancient ruins, that once formed the spa town.
|10/22/05||Head to nearby Afrodisias, the former capital of its Roman province.|
More Roman ruins, a giant stadium, and kittens.
|10/28/05||Take a 13 hour overnight bus ride to Kahta, near Mount Nemrut National Park.|
Hire a local company to drive you to the top of Mount Nemrut and observe the amazing views, with Antiochus' beheaded statues of ancient gods. Stop by a weaving school. Consider taking a donkey downhill.
|10/29/05||Head south a bit to Şanliurfa. It's full of sacred carp and the beautiful Rizvaniye Vakfi Mosque. The Halilur Rahman Mosque at the edge of the Gölbaşı area, equally lovely.|
I love the architecture in Şanliurfa historical district.
|11/3/05||Mom comes to visit Istanbul.|
Take a day boat tour along the Bosphorous. See Galata Tower, lots of mosques, Topkapi Palace (amazing İznik tiles), and Dolmabahce Palace.
Istanbul is easy to do in 4 days. We're done.
|11/7/05||Book a multi-day tour of the Western coast through the Turista Travel Agency.|
Head to Selçuk and see the ancient Roman ruins in Efes. Amazing Celsus library and Meryemana, the Virgin Mary's House.
Stay in Kuşadası, a Mediterranean beach town with a nice pazar and taxi cabs from the 60s.
|11/9/05||Çanakkale is bus-able from here. See olive orchards on your way north. Amazing sunsets at this harbor town.|
Çanakkale has a replica Trojan Horse and what is believed to be the ruins of ancient Troy.
You're also near Gallipoli, important in WWI and relevant to ANZAC Day.
|11/24/05||Fly to eastern Turkey to see Van and tag along on a documentary team focusing on women's religious rights in the country.|
Van Castle with views of old Van, and Akdamar Island with an old Armenian Church (lovely).
There's a town in this region called 'Batman.' That's all I'm saying about that.
|12/10/05||Konya, a conservative town in western Turkey, with the study abroad students. |
See the turquoise-tiled dome of the Mevlana Museum, watch the Whirling Dervishes in the Sema ceremony.
|12/17/05||A 6 hour trip from Ankara to Bursa.|
Mosques. Tombs of the founders of the Ottoman Empire. Private hot spring tub in the hotel. Muradiye Tombs. The Yeşil Tomb. A rainbow over the red-roofed city.
There's more photos from my time in Turkey up on my Flickr account.