Before renting a scooter and going to other villages, walk a mile from Goreme to this spectacular museum. Not only is the place very interesting, but it helps you understand the lengthy and fascinating history of Cappadocia. The museum is built in deep caves carved into rock cliffs (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) where the first Christians took refuge and built churches. Thanks to the dry weather and darkness, the powerful and ancient frescoes haven't lost their original color. The beautiful murals are primitive and naïve, yet somehow very real. The saints are men, the virgin is a woman without idealizing, and Jesus is recognizable as he is always painted higher than others.
This trip is very interesting, but in the end it gets a little tiring, especially if you spend all day walking. One tip, look for an agency in the area of Hagia Sophia and it will be a lot cheaper than booking directly with the hotel.
Of all the places I've visited, few have left such a lasting impression on me as the Golden Horn. There I was, standing at the foot of the Galata Bridge while the city lights began to dim and the calls to prayer sounded over the bustle of pedestrians, taxis, and ships.
The port area is a hive of people coming and going; it's as if every day the entire city acts out a huge choreographed dance under the watch of the Galata Tower and the minarets of the city's famous mosques.
This is a place where you can truly experience the essence of Istanbul: the busy Galata Bridge and its throngs of cane-pole fisherman, the non-stop boats passing below, the smell of fresh-cooked fish, and the calls to prayer from the New Mosque nearby. Without a doubt, it's one of my favorite places on Earth.
Özkonak is an abandoned city in Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Turkey, under ground level. It was found in the year 1972 and has not been fully explored. It has 9 levels with 14 rooms that could be locked from the inside with stones.
The word 'yali' comes from the Greek word 'coast' and is used to refer to the wooden summer residences in the Ottoman Empire that were built by the ambassadors and aristocrats on the shores of the Bosphorus. Today they are listed buildings and during our walk we saw some of these beautiful buildings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Especially beautiful is a port full of these houses where the public ferry docks. It seems to have stepped back two hundred years.
ANKARA is the capital of Turkey, in the central Anatolian Plateau. It is the second largest city in terms of population after Istanbul. It is the headquarters of the Turkish Parliament and all government institutions. It is an important industrial and commercial city. Among its many buildings stand Kacatepe Mosque and Mausoleum of Ataturk.
In Hierapolis on the outskirts is where you'll find two cemeteries spread out over several kilometers, with more than 12,000 tombs of different shapes and sizes, which help us imagine how funeral rites were in the Greco-Roman era.
The surroundings of the Little Saint Sophia give a very rough idea of what "real" life in Istanbul is like. The surrounding houses are a bit rickety, men and women drink their tea in stalls and feet are not as clean as the Blue Mosque: but the charm is unique. Here, the Turks are more relaxed and no longer need to project an image of strict order and westernness. Perfect to walk aimlessly and discover the real charm of the legendary Istanbul.
Sarhuan caravanserai which was built in 1249 served all traders who went back to Europe and passed near to Avanos in Turkey, was part of one of the stays which were prepared for travellers on the Silk Road. Currently Saruhan is fully restored (others have not been so lucky). The idea of visiting it came up by accident. Sarhuan is a place where you can "approach allah" to authentic derbiches, originating in Konia which are not far from this place. Every night they sing this strange prayer and are constantly turning. Bridging the religious idea, I found it fascinating, mysterious, and above all magical, I found that people had a worldview which was very different from ours, I think they were far from us. Makes you wonder if our way of facing the world is correct. No photographs were allowed in the derbiches, and believe me that the respect, silence, and the solemnity of the ritual ... was incredible.
The metro of Istanbul is a very good option to travel around the city. It is an inexpensive, clean and a pretty quick method of transport. Some of the stations are on the outside, although it is difficult to distinguish some of the trains that run through the city. Many times, the only way to distinguish them is when you realize you have to pay for another ticket. It's common practice in Istanbul that, to get somewhere, you must take various types of transport - train, metro, tram, ferry etc. You think it's a pretty cheap price, until you realize that you have to pay three times ! I recommend walking if the distances are not too far.
This fourth century stone pillar is all that remains of the old Byzantine triumph arch (from which all road distances were measured in the former empire). It's chilling to think that this stone that has survived since the ancient grandeur of the Byzantines. The "million" stone is very close to the Basilica Cistern, but you have to look hard as it often goes unnoticed.
A quieter place with a serene beauty. Right at the end, in the courtyard of Topkapi, find your dream pool and the Baghdad and Revan kiosks, places the sultans built to celebrate a victory, break the daily fast of Ramadan or just to get a bit of calm after a day of government. The views are outstanding and the pool (filled with water lilies and surrounded by canals) is beautiful. Also in this area of the palace there are fewer crowds. Don't leave without the picture on the Iftariye canopy.
Great, diverse, and multicultural, Turkey is a spectacular place full of surprises. I have so much to tell. But since it's summer and the only thing I can think about is the sea, I'll start with the fascinating Lycian Coast, a stretch of the Aegean ranging from Antalya to Fethiye. The best part was embarking on a 'gulet' in the port of Kas and navigating it through the maze of uninhabited islands. There are sunken Lycian treasures, clear water, and huge sarcophagi over 3000 years old left on the tops of the islands. And in this paradise was Kekova, an island that's out of this world. It has a small port, fig trees, timid women selling bouquets of lavender, and men napping under leafy vines. It's as if time is stopped here. www.Xanthosturizm.Com Xanthos is the efficient agency for yachting adventures that I went with. Although I am reluctant to go in a group, I have to admit that it was great!
Uchisar is a small town of Cappadocia, whose houses are dug into the rocks. Besides the curious houses, you're also surrounded by valleys and mountains that have been eroded by the elements, which have resulted in a unique landscape in the world. The best way to enjoy it is to do so by balloon ride. It is expensive, about 150 euros, and takes about one hour to an hour and a quarter. But it is the only way to get into the ravines and see everything up close and with a bird's eye view.
In this city of Cappadocia, you can buy lovely pottery and at reasonable prices. It's interesting to walk into any artisan store there as you can pick up almost any odd thing and buy it at a fraction of the price that you wiuld find at the Gran Bazar of Istanbul. Something very strange is the suspension bridge over a river which can be seen in its waters lush vegetation.