The summer vacation of 1997 went to Turkey. It was a great trip, but unfortunately only two weeks. Three or four weeks would have been nice! There is plenty to see in Turkey.
Eastern Turkey may not be save to travel through. The western parts are safe though. Except for the usual pick-pockets.
Antalya is actually a nice town, very touristy, but nice. We only stayed a few days though because the heat was unbearable. 40ºC in the shadow was simply too much for us. We saw the city and then took a bus to Istanbul.
Istanbul is an enormous city with more than 15mil inhabitants. We went right for the old part of the city, and if you stay there, the city doesn’t seem too big There is plenty to see in the old part of the city, and a week is easily spent there. Most of the sights are within walking distance. Just walking around is an experience – see the narrow streets, smell the markets and enjoy the beautiful mosques.
We saw the roman aqueduct, the Süleymaniye mosque (the largest in Istanbul), the beautiful Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia and the very interesting Topkapi palace. We also walked around in the Grand Bazar for hours,aqueduct.jpg (52948 byte) looking at all the different merchandize. The few days we had in Istanbul were not nearly enough. We would love to come back and see the rest of the city.
We took a bus from Istanbul to our next destination, Bergama. It took about 11 hours to get there, but the landscape was beautiful all the way, so it wasn’t too bad.
Bergama is a nice small town, but the reason for visiting was Pergamum, an impressive ruin complex right outside town. Pergamum is believed to be built around 200 b.c. The most striking ruin was the theatre. In old time it held 15000 people. What spectacular scenery to be sitting and watching a performance in.
From the top of the ruins there was a beautiful view of the surroundings. An aqueduct can just be made out in the left of the combined picture.
It was now time to continue further south to an even more impressive ruin complex, Efesos. It took just 4 hours to get from Bergama to Selcuk by bus. Selcuk is a small town situated just 3km from the Efesos ruins. It’s a nice town, which is not completely overrun by tourists.
Spent a whole day walking around Efesos. The ancient city has its origin back in the 7th century b.c. The ruins are well preserved, and the site is definitely worth a visit even for persons who are not into ruins. Examples of the most well preserved ruins are a magnificent theatre that holds 24000 people and a beautiful library believed to have contained more than 200000 books.
Next stop was the natural phenomenon of Pamukkale. Water from thermal springs has deposited salt through centuries, creating a beautiful set of terraces containing small pools of water.
Beautiful but very hot! The terraces are placed in the middle of nowhere, and the temperature reaches unpleasant heights.
After Pamukkale we took a bus to Fethiye. Here we saw royal tombs from where there is a great view of the surroundings. We also visited one of Turkeys most famous beaches, Ölüdeniz. The water was fantastic.
Fethiye is a nice small town and just walking around, eating at a restaurant is very relaxing. Turkey is filled with small pleasant towns.
Our two weeks trip to Turkey was coming to an end. Turkey is a great traveling country – getting around is easy, and there are lots of sights to visit. We would both love to come back and visit the eastern part of Turkey.