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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie

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 Travel Diary : Visiting Turkey

  One month to visit Turkey and I stayed only in the western half of the country (undoubtedly the most touristic part). One month, it is the longest duration which I spend in a country but Turkey is a vast country (From West to East, it is approximately 1500 kilometers).

Turkey is a touristic country with differents kinds of places to visits: dreaming beaches along the Agean, Mediterranean or the Black Sea coast to the natural sites of Pamukale and of the wonderful Cappadocia.

Without forgetting of course the city of Istanbul which was for me a kind of Gate towards the East. This city in constant movement is a perfect introduction to Turkey and its empires which preceded it. 

Turkey, this is not only his touristic places but a different culture and manners. For those reasons, I was in need to write two articles about this country:

1 On the first, I concentrated on the tourist attraction of the country.

2 On the second, I try to make you discover his version from the inside, his customs and his habits. 

Turkey is a country with a muslim majority, so it is not a surprise to see in the country so many mosques whose minarets point towards the sky. Lets start with the most famous. You undoubtedly know the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and the museum of Holy Sophia. The museum of Holy Sophia was in the history first of all a Catholic Church then was reconverted as Mosque a little later. Its final version is currently a museum. I like very much this building because it remains me the tales of Thousand and One Nights... especially the Night!

The Holy Sophia museum

 The Blue Mosque

 

Istanbul is a city in constant movement, I said it. However this idea undoubtedly came to me after having been in the Bazaars of the city (currently most known as the Big Bazaar and the Egyptians Bazaar or spices bazaar). In this town of 15 millions of inhabitants, we could believe that half of the city gathers here because we can feel here the ultra-alive atmosphere of the city.

On the stalls, we can find everything: from the last shoes of sport (which the price is not different than the one we can find in Europe) to the little spice which can make the difference in your favourite raviolis. 

Talking about spices...

      

Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents: here Europe and Asia. The border is naval, the Bosphorus constitutes it. This immense water point is difficult to miss. I didn t succeed  to avoid showing you a photograph of these sinners who supply the touristic restaurants who are just below on the bridge of the Gold Horn.

Describe Istanbul is of course impossible in some lines, for that you can go in the photographs part of the website in World Tour and you will have a better visual of the city as well as various sites of the country.

Various sites of the country...

After Istanbul, I moved towards the capital of the country: Ankara (Yes, the capital is indeed not Istanbul). The city does not have really a touristic attraction because its statute is recent, therefore its enlarging also. The only attraction could be historical with the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey (more details in "Turkey from Inside").

Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

After the sites resulting from the work of the man, it was time to be go a little bit on some natural sites. Two are very known in Turkey and I was really interesed to stop by in those places.

These two sites are:

  • - Pamukalé
  • - Cappadocia

 Pamukalé/Hiérapolis

Also called "Cotton Castle", this geological site is rather astonishing. Indeed, here it is not snow which forms the white color but rock salt which come from hot sources which run out from the top of the hill. Here is a perfect example of this natural exception... and in photo please!

Thus water runs out from the top of the hill like that and fall in several levels to the bottom. By the way, the several levels can remain the famous terrace cultivation which we can see in Southeast of Asia.

The site was so splendid (was because it s losing a little bit of its whiteness... too much tourists?) that the man settled down here few thousands of years ago and was increased also in particular during the Roman era. The name given to this city was Hierapolis. A certain number of ruins and buildings remain. I was impressed by the Roman theater which is brilliantly preserved.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is not really "a site" but a name given to an area with several sites. Indeed, millions of years ago, an active volcano entered in eruption and transformed completely the landscape of the area. The volcanic rock with time get a not very common erosion in certain places of cappadocia and you can admire an astonishing result there. Likewise, the man also passed by and benefitted from the friability of the rock to build troglodytes and underground cities there. Cappadoce is also known for its rich history because many civilizations passed by and left each one there a print. Personally, I had the chance to be invited during 4 days by the people who take care of the promotion of tourism in Cappadocia and I could visit in an effective way this area of a some hundreds of kilometres. 

Thus let s come back to this erosion not like the others. Cappadocia is mainly known for its " Fairies Chimneys ".

 What are the fairies chimneys ? Answer in picture...

Here close to the village of Mustafapasa

A little bit further close to the villages of Goreme and Urgup

And if you want a bigger idea, let s see with a bigger point of view

An erosion which undoubtedly gives astonishing results. I still wonder why there remains this small hat on top of the rock... 

Continuation of the visit, I could go to the villages dug in the rock. Again, this is astonishing, as much seen from inside than from outside.

In Goreme, here are what was looking like the HLM few years before...

...and in Guzelyurt

Likewise, I transformed myself into Japanese tourist for my stay in Cappadocia, then have fun in the photo part! 

As I said, Turkey is open to any kind of tourism. On top of a cultural side, there is an important side for relaxing: the seaside. Even if it wasnt really the season, I went on one of the cities along the Mediterranean coast in Antalya. You know that in full winter, I was surprised to see that in full afternoon, the temperature reached 15 degrees Celsius. Okay, I didnt stop that much to make some sunbathing but the time for a photograph, I didnt froze my fingers for once! 

 Beach Park, Antalya

After having described some things to see in Turkey, time came I think to explain to you the things to do there...

So I wait for you in "Turkey from the inside".

See you soon

Jérémy



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