A fascinating excursion visiting some very important sites.An illuminating insight into the history, culture and topography of this important "new" nation.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Truth to tell, the trip through Turkey was inspirational in so many ways. Rather like analysing a rich tapestry, one has to admire the colour, texture, content and skill of the artist(s).
The lavish Islamic architecture of Istanbul's Blue Mosque amongst others has to make such buildings remarkable icons of huge historic and modern importance. The Topkapi Palace evokes a sense of the huge lavish empire which was that of the Ottomans, while the phenomena of Cappadocia with its startling landscapes and the blazing white cliffs of Pammukale leave unforgettable images in the mind's eye.
Ancient monuments of World Heritage status, the poignant juxtaposition of Galipolli's natural beauty alongside memorials to the many dead on both sides in that cruel war. All was inspirational
- What did you think of your group leader?
Our group leader was a very personable and skilled young man. He was knowledgeable and at the same time keen to interact with members of the group and to show an interest in each and every one.
Clearly he was well versed in the necessary skills of diplomacy and always ready to be flexible whilst ensuring that we covered the salient items of the itinerary.
I feel that we learned a great deal about Turkey from one of its proud citizens.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Read about the country and try to learn a few words. Locals were very warm but especially to hear a few words in Turkish from visiting tourists. Be prepared to be amazed regardless of what you have read or seen in books or films. We travelled in October. Prepare for extremes of weather.
North of the Taurus Range nights were cool and required warm clothing. Once we reached the south coast we experienced weather reminiscent of an excellent British Summer. Bring your swimmies!!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
The hotels were at times disappointing: the best was in Fethiye, others were sometimes cramped or austere.
However, relatively little time was spent in our hotels and so given the value for money, it was not too much of a problem. If you're concerned about the accommodation, get a list of the hotels where you'll be staying and see if they feature on Booking.com or Tripadvisor, for example.
If you have euros take some with. Often things worked out cheaper paying in euros than in Turkish Lira and if you think on the last day that you won't be back in Istanbul before 8pm, make sure to purchase items from the Spice Market at the start of your trip.
güvenli bir yolculuk!