A May 2007 trip
to Turkey by jonbarb709
Quote: In 1968 the Air Force sent me and my family to Cigli Air Base, Izmir Turkey, we had the opportunity to travel all over Turkey during the next two years and now 39 years later we returned.
Thirty nine years ago living and traveling in Turkey was fantastic. We lived in a small Village Karshiaka (sp) just across the bay from Izmir. We had a 4-bedroom condo, with a balcony overlooking Izmir, we paid $125 a month. Today the price of that apartment is between $1500-$2000 a month. I know someone is saying "what did you expect?" That was the first of the changes. Traveling with Globus to Turkey, trying to see the most in a minimum of time. We traveled 2000 miles in two weeks, and stayed in 10 hotels. Maybe not the best way to see Turkey, but if you want to see as much as you can in a short period of time, it is maybe the only way.
We had visited Istanbul during our stay in Turkey (1968-1970) returning now was not too big of a surprise, except for the prices. Istanbul had lots of traffic then and has lots of traffic now. It is located between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The number of places that you could visit in Istanbul are numerous, but the main atractions, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi, and of course the Grand Bazaar are enough to keep you busy for a couple of days.
--The dinner and entertainment at the Kervansaray was outstanding. It was an optional item but well worth the money.
--A one-day stop in Bursa (a big ski resort) and then on to Ankara with a stop at Eskisehir (for those who want to buy meerschaum pipes).
--Ankara, the capital city, a visit to the Kingdon of Phrygia where Alexander the Great, cut the "knot", visit King Midas's great Earth Tumulus.
--A visit to the Mauseoleum of Ataturk - overwelming, fantastic, unbelievable. A tremendous tribute. Just a side note here, buy water at the snack bar, very cheap. And believe me, trying to find something cheap in Turkey is a chore.
--On to Cappadocia, and the area called Goreme with its Rock Chapels - the frescoes here are super. Another note, as you walk to the parking lot (buses and cars) there are several shops selling all kind of things. The one nearest the parking lot, there is a young man selling cold beer, with glasses that are kept in the refrig. Another critical area, cold beer, many say it cold, but its not. Also the price was right.
--On to Konya and the land of the Whirling Dervishes. You visit three great structures, the Mevlana Monastery of the Dervishes, the theological school and the Ince Minaret. The monastery which is now a museum was terrific and well worth the stop. One night there and on the Antalya. Really liked Antalya, not sure why, the hotel was great the Antalya Dedeman (very nice outside bar) a good SPA, and we stayed two nights.
--From there to Pamukkale, where you will see white lime cascades, which are formed by its hot springs. By the way when we stayed there 1969, there was only one or two hotels. Now, who could count.
--On to Izmir with one of the highlights of the trip, a stop at Ephesus, St. Paul stopped here, and there is also a chapel marking the site where the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent here last days. We had visited this before but it wasbuildt up so much more. Izmir, we are home.
--From the base Cigli to Izmir, 1968-1970, it was just a road with a few buildings. Today, apartment, businesses, shops, it all runs together. Izmir was a fairly good size city then today, its overwelming. Unfortunately only one night. We did go by the water and have a drink and people watch.
--On to Troy, you may even the Horse. The last stop Instanbul but a ferry across the Dardanelles and visit WWI battlefields on the Gallipoli Peninsula where allied troops, mainly Australians and New Zealanders had heavy casulties.
The trip was fast, we did see a lot, you bet, did I mention everything here, NO. Some tips: Carry small change, bathrooms cost almost everywhere you go. Beer in hotel is expensive. Buy it at a groce
The Villages, Florida