A fantastic trip to turkey second part

1/25/2018

A fantastic Trip to Turkey Part II


I love going on bus rides as you get to gaze at the fabulous land around you.  With most of Turkey’s landscape being gorgeous, I was thrilled to be on a bus going towards the coastline.  The views were wonderful and the bus was comfortable; offering snacks and drinks about every hour.  So, the 10 hours it took to get to the Antalya, a city overlooking the Mediterranean coast, went by in a breeze.  I only spent a couple of leisure days in Antalya, basking in the turquoise water, as it seemed to be more family oriented.  However, I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Turkish wedding and got to dance the night away before I was off to the small hippie village of Olympos. 

Blue flag beach on Turkey


The city of Olympos is an original Lycian settlement dating back to 300 BC, which stretches along the southern Turkish coast.  It is an isolated beach with a string of tree-houses and camping sites surrounded by ancient Lycian ruins.  Olympos had more of a rustic and natural feel to it since it was devoid of large developments and mass tourism.  It was the perfect place for swimming/snorkeling, hiking, and relaxing.  Also, they have natural flames burning from the side of the mountains at night, which are interesting to watch knowing they have been burning for thousands of years.  While staying in Olympos, I met a woman who was interested in seeing Mount Nemrut and visiting Şanlıurfa in East Turkey.  After a few chilled days on the coast we packed our bags and were off on the next bus headed towards the town of Karadut.




 After another pit stop in Cappadocia and a few more sunsets and sunrises, we arrived in the village of Karadut.  We decided on the town of Karadut since it was the base to hike or drive Mt. Nemrut, a stunning archeology and UNESCO World Heritage site.  We chose to drive up the mountain rather than hike (too cold) the next day, and take in the rock carvings of ancient Greek Gods from 2,000 years ago.  The sun rose and the statues gave off a reddish glow before assuming their natural yellow tone.  Once the sun was up we could see the Northern views of the Euphrates River.  Absolutely breathtaking.  After taking in the stunning views, it was time to travel south and make our way to Şanlıurfa.





nimrud sunset


I was super excited to make it to Şanlıurfa, having heard it housed the newly excavated Göbekli Tepe, allegedly the world’s first temple dating roughly from 12,000 years ago.  Also, this is where the Prophets, Job and Abraham, left their mark.  As we walked through the neighborhoods, we noticed the strong Arabic and Kurdish influence.  The architect, dress code, language, and bazaars were all distinctly different from all the other cities I had visited in Turkey.  What stood out the most, though, was the friendly atmosphere.  Many people stopped to invite us in for tea or just to have a friendly chat to welcome us.  While traveling through Turkey I was told Kebabs are made exceptionally well in Urfa, so I dove in and gorged on enough Kebabs to last me a lifetime.  I couldn't believe how big the portion sizes were and how small the bill was.  After exploring some and eating my way through town, it was time for us to go see Göbekli Tepe.  But to my dismay, it was closed for more excavations.  We were disappointed, but not all was lost, since there was plenty more history to see including the well informative Şanlıurfa museum that had a replicate of the Göbekli Tepe.  After spending several days immersed in the cities rich history it was time to take off, again, and part ways with my friend.  I headed back towards the West to stay in Selçuk, to see the famous Ephesus Ruins

sanlıurfa fish pool

I arrived to Selçuk, Turkey by train and immediately loved the authentic charm of this quaint town. Now that I had been in Turkey for a while, I had several recommendations on where to stay and what to see in Selçuk. And the main attraction was Ephesus, one of the largest open-air archaeological museums in the world. When tourism was at its highest in Turkey, Ephesus would be slammed with tourists, but I was lucky enough to walk through the ancient ruins with about half as many as normal. I could marvel at the intricate craftsmanship of the well-preserved statues, edifices, and inscriptions without having to wedge in-between people.  The grand theater, which at its height, seated 25,000 people. I sat there imagining all the plays, concerts, political and philosophical discussions, and gladiator fights that went on through the years. Even though the city has seen acts of war, an earthquake, and only a small percentage has been excavated, you can still appreciate the beauty and detail of this ancient city. The next few days I ventured out to the House of the Virgin Mary, Cave of the Seven Sleepers, Basilica of St. John, fortress on Ayasoluk Hill, and a few neighboring towns. I ended up staying in Selçuk for two weeks due to its relaxed atmosphere, nearby beaches, hiking trails, and friendliest people I had come across in Turkey. At the end of my two weeks stay, in this delightful town, I felt like family rather than a guest. It was heartbreaking to leave, but I was hopeful knowing I would return.


Many people asked about my safety during the duration of my trip and without a doubt I felt safer in Turkey than I did in my home country, the USA. Countless locals went out of their way assisting me with directions, rides, and information. I often accepted invitations for tea/coffee and dinner and wound up talking for hours about life. An old Turkish tradition says “a stranger at one’s doorstep is God’s guest for at least three days.” Hospitality is the heart of Turkish culture, and they believe visitors should be treated as guests, no matter what country you are from. Every day was exciting, so many diverse landscapes, kind and loving people, scrumptious food, and a wealth of history. I was romanced and captivated by this beautiful country and wildly eager to go back.
war, an earthquake, and only a small percentage has been excavated, you can still appreciate the
beauty and detail of this ancient city. The next few days I ventured out to the House of the Virgin Mary, Cave of the Seven Sleepers, Basilica of St. John, fortress on Ayasoluk Hill, and a few neighboring towns. I ended up staying in Selçuk for two weeks due to its relaxed atmosphere, nearby beaches, hiking trails, and friendliest people I had come across in Turkey. At the end of my two weeks stay, in this delightful town, I felt like family rather than a guest. It was heartbreaking to leave, but I was hopeful knowing I would return.

Second part finished here and thanks again Andrea for that amazing story and hope that again can come to Turkey and visit that amazing country.

                                                                                THE END

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Hi Dear Visitors.I'm Recep admin of this blog.Actually I'm Mechanical engineer but started to write that blog in 2015 for help foreigns,improve my English and try to show How Turkey is a wonderfull country with places,cities,culture,tradition,meals,life and people.Thanks for to read it and do not forget to drop comments.

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