Turkish Delights!

Trip Start Dec 13, 2006
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hello all! We thought we would not make you wait so long for our next update this time. We have been touring Turkey sınce we left Germany 3rd October. We spent 3 days ın Istanbul, quite a city. We arrived at a new airport a bit mout of town, and made a good guess as to which bus would get us to the city. Since the airport was on the Asian sıde of the Bosphorus, we caught a ferry across to the European side of Istanbul. The timing was good, we got great sunset photos from the ferry.
The first thing we saw the next day was the Aya Sophia, an old Byzantine Cathedral that became a mosque that became a museum. It has amazıng artworks and mosiacs on the walls and ceilings. When the building became a mosque the Muslims covered up most of the mosiacs since they depicted Christian and living things, but they are gradually restoring many of them.
The Blue Mosque was pretty cool, but loses in comparison to the Aya Sophia. It was interesting to see how the Muslims worship. It has been Ramazan here up till this weekend, and we have been woken at about 4am most days by men bashing drums to wake the faithful for their pre-dawn meal. It is a cultural experience I tell myself each mornıng... Hearing the call to prayer from the minarets also reminds us about how this place is different. In some places with several mosques they seem to be competing with theır chants/cries.
The Grand Bazaar was a bit daunting. We went in expecting to do some haggling and get some cheap stuff, but found a tourist trap with overly pushy sales touts instead. Still, it was interesting wandering through the Bazaar. We got well and truely lost and it took some time to get back to where we started.

For this part of our trip we are taking a 'hop on - hop off' bus called Fez Bus. It isn't terribly cheap, but we wouldn't be able to see all we want to doing the travelling independently. The tour guide is very cool, an Aussie bloke who treats everyone like mates rather than tourist sheep. Our first stop was Gallipoli. For the battlefields we had a local guide, Captain Ali. This guy is a legend, he was really into the history and the way the war was fought 'cleanly' by both sides. They even have the remains of some of the 90 year old trenches, much eroded of course.
Troy and Pergamon were two ancient cities we toured the next day. There wasn't so much of Troy (versions I to VIII) left standing, but Pergamon has a partially reconstructed temple and the steepest ampitheatre in the ancient world.
Ephasus was amazing. There is heaps to see, and they have only excavated 19% of it! There is a huge auditorıum, a reconstructed library as well as monuments and statues aplenty. They have the layout of several streets exposed, it was great to walk down there and imagine what it was like 2000 years ago before wars, earthquakes, silting and tourist hordes.

Right now we are in Olympos, southern Turkey. It ıs on the Mediteranean Sea, and very nice to swim in despite it being Autumn here. The place we are staying in looks like a shanty town, but is really cool and laid back (right up untill the nightly disco starts doof-doofing away...). It is a 30 minute walk to the beach, but the last bit is through scattered Lycian and Roman ruins. Yesterday I climbed a headland with a ruined castle and found of all things a tortise! Today we are off again, making our way to Cappadocia. Our next blog will be from a Greek island, internet connections allowıng!

God bless,

Dave and Heidi
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Comments

mwausd
mwausd on

What about Pamuccalae ?
Hi Heidi, hi Dave,

didN´t you schwimm the sparkling water in Pamuccalae?

Hoped you have FUN !!
c u soon Martin

larissa0
larissa0 on

re: Photo - what hidden beauties? Is it a game?
Nope....definately can't see any beauties hidden anywhere.....only some ancient ruins and that sister of mine standing around doing nothing as usual! What a life you two are having!!

take care and stay safe,
Love Larissa.

robbortw
robbortw on

Pummucale - reply to Martin
Hi Martin, I´´m afraid we didn´t go to Pummucale. We were short of time and have heard from other travellers that it is not so spectacular in recent years.

The water has dried up (hotels are piping it away for their own purposes!! - where´s an environmental officer when you need one) and so you can´t swim and it doesn´t look as great.

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