A Travellerspoint blog

Safranbolu

We've left the Flinstones style scenery of Kapadokya, and have headed north. We're in a really cool town called Safranbolu. The old town here is full of old Ottoman wooden houses along its cobbled streets. Some have been fully restored, yet others are really dilapadated, which adds to the atmosphere of the place. The town is really touristy, with hotels everywhere (many in the old wooden houses), however, it is mostly Turkish tourists and english is not very common.

This is our last stop before Istanbul, where our trip will come to an end. It's been great, and I'm even slightly excited to be going home in just over a week.

Posted by moutallica 02:30 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Kapadokya Caves

Yesterday morning we awoke from our cave room to see that it was snowing. We are now in Kapadokya, in the middle of Turkey. This area is famous for it's landscape, which consists of what the locals call 'fairy chimneys'. I won't go on to describe them, I'll simply let the pictures below explain it all. Needless to say, it is simply amazing around here, and we are thrilled just walking around the various valleys.

Other hightlights include visiting an underground city. This was built as a shelter from seiges, but instead of just a few rooms, they decided to carve out enough living areas for everyone, including animals. The one we saw was 5 levels deep, and it was so cool to go through the passageways and into all the little rooms.

Another cool thing was the testi kebab that we ate. This is a regional specialty where they stick meat and vegetables into a small pottery jug. This is then cooked in a fire. It is brought out to you on a flaming tray, and then the server breaks the jug with a hammer. You then enjoy the delicousness inside. Miam miam.

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Posted by moutallica 11:14 Archived in Turkey Tagged photography Comments (0)

Frozen Turkey

So it's cold here now. A week or so ago it was snowing in both Ankara and Istanbul, and the mountains that we've seen on our bus rides are covered in snow. Even the sides of the roads still have snow in many places.

Regardless we've seen some amazing places. I'll only give a few highlights, as there would be way too much to write about. First of all, we went to see Santa Claus. I'm sure most of you didn't know that he was Turkish, but he is. St Nicholas lived most of his life in Demre, and we got to see 'hood (church). Not to mention the tacky Santa Claus statue that's near it, and all the tacky souvenirs stores around that.

Then it was off to the ancient Lykian city of Olympos. The hostels there are super cool, as they have treehouses that you can stay in. However, because of the coldness factor, we opted for a nice heated bungalow instead. Nevertheless, the ancient city was awesome. It's still a very wild place, not too developped, and therefore you can just wander around the forest until you stumble upon a magnificent ruin or another.

Around there was another really cool sight. The natural eternal flame of Chimeara is a natural gas leak in the mountain, that has been on fire since the ancient times. They thought it was the breath of a monter underground, but I just thought it was really cool. I even made some grilled cheese on a stick. Mmmmmmm...... I then had a headache from inhaling the fumes. Fun fun.

The next stop was the beautiful city of Antalya, our last stop on the coast. Here we decided to do the whole hospitality club dealy again, so we got to stay with a local family. They were GREAT. Although only the daughters spoke english (and one was too shy to talk), they were all so friendly. We enjoyed delicious breakfasts, learned how to make Turkish coffee (even got our fortune told from the grinds, mine even ended up being true... well part of it anyways) and just generally had a good time. It's a great city too, some nice parks and cafes to smoke nargileh (hookah, shishah, hubbly bubbly or whatever you want to call it).

We've also stopped in the city of Konya. It's a very very muslim city, which is quite interesting to experience (as long as you don't mind being stared at). I even splurged out and bought myself a kilim (traditional carpet).

Posted by moutallica 11:39 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Gobble Gobble

Turkey Time!

It's been a while since my last entry, so this will just be a quick recap of the past few weeks. After leaving Naxos, we headed to the super touristy island of Santorini. This island is at least touristy for a good reason, it is the site of one of the biggest volcano eruptions in recorded history, and therefore there is a submerged crater dealy with the caldera walls creating cliffs all around the crescent shaped island. However, all this is pretty much ruined by the tacky and ridicoulously overpriced shops and restaurants all around.

Moving on, we headed to Crete. We visited Knossos, home of the Minotaur. Unfortunately, they don't let you pet him anymore, after the tragic death of 3 Germans back in 2004. However, our visit in Crete was cut short once we learned that the last ferry of the season to Rhodes was leaving in just a few days. Oh well, we'll just have a reason to come back some other time.

Rhodes was our last stop in Greece, and although it had a really cool medieval old town, it loses a lot of it's ambiance by being so commercial.

Then it was off to Turkey! Getting there was quite easy (though expensive) from Rhodes, however, I would really like to know what Canada has done to make the Turkish Government not like us. On arrival, we had to buy a visa stamp, and looking at the list, we saw that for all countries, this costs from 10-20 Euros. The one exception to this is for Canadians, where it costs a whopping 45 Euros. GAH!

From our arrival port, we headed to a little town called Dalyan. You couldn't really ask for a more beautiful setting, right on a river, and some really cool tombs carved into the cliffs behind it (see pictures in previous entry). We joined up with a few other tourists, and took a boat to a turtle nesting beach (sadly there were no turtles to be seen at that time) and then back up the river to Kaunos, an old ruined city with a really cool theatre.

Unfortunately, the weather hasn't really been the greatest here in Turkey. It's been rainy and stormy most of the time, however, this is expected to get better in the next couple of days.

The one exception to the bad weather was yesterday, when it was sunny and warm. We started the day with a oh-my-god-I'm-going-to-die hike down the side of a cliff. It wouldn't have been so bad, but we had our big packs on, which adds a lot of extra weight, and messes with your balance. Balance is especially important when going down a path more fit for a mountain goat (and there are plenty around, including in our dinner), than humans. We got down to Butterfly Valley, a beautiful place where we were expecting to spend a few days, however, just as we got there, everyone was packing up to leave. Because they were taking the last boat of the season, and the prospect of having to hike back up the cliff (probably in the rain) didn't appeal, we decided just to leave with them and continue our travels.

Posted by moutallica 08:28 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

More Pictures!!!

These pictures go from the Greek island of Amorgos, all the way to Dalyan, in Turkey. Enjoy.

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Posted by moutallica 08:18 Tagged photography Comments (0)

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