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gloriajames Istanbul - A travel report by Gloria
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Istanbul,  Turkey - flag Turkey -  Istanbul
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gloriajames's travel reports

My Turkey Rendezvous

  26 votes
Page: 1 2
Turkey is a place of wonders. All around, one would be left awe-struck by the ancient and modern buildings that lie side by side. Every corner, every journey, every place that I stepped into, simply left me wondering, what will follow next.

Ephesus at Seluck
Ephesus at Seluck
My 14-days tour began in Istanbul ( which is the only city in the world that lies on two continents - Europe and Asia), to Anakara, Cappadocia, Konya, Pammukale, Seluck, Kusadasi, Pergamon, Cannakale, and Troy.

During my journey, my guide highlighted a few Turkish customs that left me tickled. Let me share some with you:

1. The presence of Coca-Cola bottles, seven-up bottles and pottery found on the roof tops of houses, signifies - If the bottle is standing upright, it means that there is a single woman available and ready for marriage. Any potential suitor may show his intention by taking a stone and smashing the bottle with it. This goes to show that the woman is now taken. Coca-Cola bottles represent a brunette whilst a seven-up bottle, a blond!

2. If a son is ready for marriage, he shows it by overturning his mother's sandals when she is sleeping. If the mother does not get the message and assumes that she must have overturned her sandals accidentally, then the son has to take her sandals and nail them onto the door. If the mother once again failed to get the message, then during dinner, the son has to take a knife and plunge it into the middle of the bread to show that he is really desirous of getting married.

3. If a potential suitor asks for the girl's hand, the girl shows her desire by adding lots of sugar to the coffee. If she dislikes the man, she adds salt in it and the man will leave politely.

Favourite spots:
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
1. Istanbul, head on to the Hippodrome which was built in 203AD and was the centre of chariot races during the Byzantine period. Today not much remains of the original building.

Next was the Blue Mosque, which is so known, as the walls inside are covered with blue tiles and its domes are beautifully decorated in the same colour. Built about 500 years ago, it has six minarets and is one of the best examples of Ottoman architecture with the central dome supported by other semi-circular domes.

Directly opposite the Blue Mosque is the Hagia Sophia which is considered to be the symbol of the Byzantine period. It was hailed as an architectural marvel of all time.

2. At Ankara, visit the famous Anatolian Civilisation Museum which houses the best collection of Hittite art and contains several rare objects and relics belonging to the pre-classical civilisation of Anatolia.

Next stop was the Ataturk Mausoleum which is the final resting place of the 'father of Turkey'.

What's really great:
Hot Air Balloon Flight over Cappadocia
Hot Air Balloon Flight over Cappadocia
1.CAPPADOCIA is a geological wonderland where one will find the most fantastic and indescribably beautiful landscapes in the world. Millions of years ago, the region of Cappadocia was covered with lava after the violent eruption of two extinct volcanoes. Through the years, the unique landscape of Cappadocia evolved from the erosion of the ash sediments, sculpting the land into countless, strangely-shaped capped columns, pyramids and cones known as 'fairy chimneys'. View the spectacular sight from a hot air balloon.

2. PAMMUKALE is also known as 'Cotton Castle'. This magical and spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountain over hundreds of years forming into a myriad of pools and terraces. I loved wadding in the thermal waters!

Temple of Trajan, Pergamon
Temple of Trajan, Pergamon
1. EPHESUS, founded around 11th century BC and is the largest and most outstanding archeological site in existence. It has been hailed as one of the most beautiful ancient cities in the world. Some of the structures include the Library of Celsus, The Great Theatre, Temple of Hadrian, Gate of Hercules.

2. PERGAMON, founded in 284BC, climb up 300m to view the Acropolis of Pergamon. Some of the ruins include the Altar of Zeus, Temple of Athena, Temple of Trajan, and Grand Theatre.

3. TROY, the famous mythological city in Homer's epic poem - Illiad. Unfortunately, only ruins remains.

Cave Home at Cappadocia
Cave Home at Cappadocia
1. Ceylan Inter-Continental (istanbul)- a 5star hotel
2. Hilton (Istanbul) - a 4star hotel close to the shopping area
3. Peri Tower (Cappdocia) - pink coloured hotel tastefully done.
4. Cave Home - Cappadocia
5. Pammukale Thermal Hotel - for a spa experience!
6. Hotel Adukale (Kusadasi)

Belly Dancer
Belly Dancer
1. Kemansaray Restaurant and Night Club for a belly dancing and good value 4 course meal.

2. Cave Restaurant at Cappdocia, for belly dancing night, where the entrance fee includes free flow of finger good and drinks, ending with a bonfire outside.

Other recommendations:
Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Palace
As no tour to Turkey is complete without the Bosphorus Cruise, I boarded a private boat and spent an hour cruising down the Bosphorus Straits which links the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles, and separates Europe from Asia. With the shores rising to heights of up to 200m, lined with the obscenely lavish Dolmabahce Palace, ruins, villages and gardens, this is one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery in Turkey.

Published on Wednesday October 6th, 2004

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Sun, Jun 26 2005 - 11:57 AM rating by ta-shy

Hey Gloria, your making my next travel decision easier to make... tell me, are people from Turkey mostly muslim? What is the mother tonge there Arabic? Who did you tour with? and finally is it expensive.

Wed, May 04 2005 - 08:55 PM rating by kandath

great report. brought back memories of my one week there in 1995, sadly pre digi camera days ! Keep up the great work.

Thu, Apr 28 2005 - 05:57 AM rating by magic_eye

Great report...helped me put the destination with the highest priority on my wishlist!

Wed, Jan 05 2005 - 08:48 PM rating by madness

Perfect report, I m living in Istanbul

Thu, Oct 07 2004 - 09:47 PM rating by italian-link

Excellent report on Turkey. I love the custom with the Coke bottles. If only it were that easy over here LOL

Nice pictures too!

Wed, Oct 06 2004 - 09:40 PM rating by britman

Excellent report

Wed, Oct 06 2004 - 10:03 AM rating by mortimer

Hi Gloria
Nice to read such detailed reports full of stories. That's what traveling IMHO is about: stories and adventures. keep up your good work ;-)

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