Part Two – Turkey
Continuing the journey from Jordan to Turkey with Olive Baptista, Specialty Tour, Luxury Trains & Cruise Consultant at UNIGLOBE Geo Travel in Nanaimo and intrepid traveler and adventurer. Olive shares her adventures on a recent trip to Jordan and Turkey
From Jordan we took a flight to Istanbul for a surprise hook-up with another of my tour groups at at a popular restaurant called “Hamde” where we enjoyed a delicious Turkish meal.
Our tour in Turkey was filled with very interesting tours each day. The town of Goreme near Cappadocia was unique with the wide landscape of the rock formations. The landscape was quite spectacular and the best views are from balloons that go up early in the morning. There is also an underground cave city which is open for tourists to visit.
Some of the large rock caves have been taken over by hotel developments and are now used as luxury hotels. The Yunak Eveleri is one of these cave hotels.
In Cappadocia we took in a performance by the famous Whirling Dervishes.
The visit to Ephesus was the highlight of this tour. I had been there on a previous tour but it is always an amazing place to visit. Having my ipad with me and a new camera I was able to get some great shots of the library and the amphitheatre. A large family of cats has made Ephesus their home and they posed for pictures on some of the ruins.
Istanbul is a vibrant city which offers some great places to explore. We spent 5 nights and did some major walking each day. Our visit to the famous Grand Bazaar was great fun with the bargains to be made. It offers a wide variety of local arts and crafts, carpets, leather clothing and jewelry. After hours of haggling we wound up with three carpets to be shipped home and many small ceramics, scarves and hand bags. We finally decided to leave and meander through the back allies to the famous spice Bazaar. Many of the group purchased some exotic spices to take home.
Some other highlights were a visit the famous Hagia Sophia a great architectural beauty and an important monument both for Byzantine and for Ottoman Empires, the famous and beautiful Blue Mosque built from 1609-1616 and still being used as a mosque and visit to Kumkapi the famous fish quarter – an adventurous walk through streets and alleys . The end of the walk lead us to a plaza with several restaurants around a large fountain serving a variety of fish meals.
I was sad to come to the end of the trip. The memories of the muezzins morning call to prayer , the food and the walks through the streets made for a wonderful holiday. I do hope to visit Istanbul again maybe as a stopover on another trip in that zone. Perhaps you’d like to join me on one of my tours? Contact me at: