Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


December 6, 2012

Driving around Turkey

After our trip around Israel, we flew into Istanbul where we met G who was to be our driver around Turkey for ten days. 

We had a few bags, we don’t travel light so we had to get a people carrier – yes for five people!  It was required!

Our first stop wasn’t Istanbul, we decided we would finish off there so we headed to Gallipoli which a lot of New Zealander’s and Australians visit to pay homage to our fallen soldiers and loved ones.  This was my second visit to Gallipoli and what struck me was how the Turkish were embracing the history from my previous visit.

Our next stop was Ephesus which is a magnificent roman ruin which still has the facade of the library standing. 

Tip – either visit very early in the morning or as late in the evening as possible.  Do not enter the site in the middle of the day in the middle of summer – big mistake

G had dropped us off at the site at 2pm however it was over 40 degrees and the marble was so hot it was just too uncomfortable so we were slightly lazy, we walked to the library and sat in the shade admiring the facade and people watched.  It was really too hot to do anything that day – we got back to the hotel and sat by the pool, it was pure bliss.

When I had travelled around Turkey in 2003 one place we didn’t visit was Pumukkale.  G didn’t want to go there as it was way out of the way we wanted to travel however he had four grumbling kiwis in the back and of course we won. 

Pumukkale was amazing and definitely worth the detour.

The site is a hot spring with terraces that you walk over; you need to visit to really appreciate the size and beauty.

For me the best bit about Pummukale were the tourists posing – here is a snap shot which had me giggling!  I have plenty of others!

After our stop at Pumukkale we got back onto the coast road and stopped in Olu Deniz so G could visit some old friends.  G also wanted to throw himself off a cliff at this stage; not sure if this was to do with the four nagging kiwis in the back of the people mover or if he just felt like jumping off the cliff. 

G used Hector Paragliding for his jump in Olu Deniz which is just a stunning little spot in Turkey which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

From Olu Deniz we visited Kaya Village which is a Ghost Town close by.  It gives a fascinating insight into the issues between the Greeks and Turks. 

Our next long driving day was to Goreme and it was a long day as Turkey is a huge country.

Tip – if visiting Goreme then you have to go hot air ballooning at dawn, the views are amazing!

Our final stop was Istanbul, a beautiful city which is a great last stop as you can shop till your hearts content.

Tip – when in Istanbul you need to visit the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace and finish off with a cruise to admire Istanbul.

We stayed at the Istanbul City Holiday Inn which is in a brilliant location with a tram stop right out the front of the hotel!  Highly recommend this hotel.



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