I have been to Istanbul and loved it so much, maybe I had gone there hundred times. So this is going to be only about two towns that I had visited for the first time. I did also visit the other main cities like Ankara, Izmir, Yalova and Bursa. My great thirst for knowing that country was immense; the country that was a great empire for a long time and had concurred most of the world for a long time until its kings (sultans started to kill to stay in power).
When the opportunity came to start working with the universities over there, I said YES. It was like a dream come true. The visits continued and my inspiration never subsided. Every time I go there I find it more and more intriguing. This time though I noticed the new projects that are built around the outskirts of Istanbul for investors who bought houses and flats to live there or just to invest. The sites are beautiful and worth every cent spent. Of course I am sure you knew what the city of Istanbul is famous for? it has over 3000 mosques, some with four minarets, some with two and many with just one. I dont know the reason, its for you to find out.
Bodrum: is a town that is on the water. You walk for miles and miles wondering around shops, restaurants, sweet parlors, cafes and of course the sea. You can be there for days! But never bored. The houses and the style is different to any town I had been too. From the movie Mama Mia I found some resemblance to the Greek houses and colors. Most of the things that are sold in Bodrum are made by its people, and most of the shops had the same products, but you can find some products that are unique to certain shops as their owners are artists and make to sell. The food is mostly fish, as they town is almost surrounded by water. Our highlight is visiting Nusret restaurant and taking a photo next to his salt throwing iconic photo.
You may need to rent a car if you want to travel to other places like Gumusluc and other nearby areas. We did try to go, but the traffic was a hindrance, so we decided to have our dinner just outside of town. Of course the town does have shopping malls and other areas of interests, but to me a visit is to see the locals in their shops and restaurants.
Cappadocia: this was the highlight of our trip, something totally new to me, the cave mountains that are converted to homes, hotels, shops and so on. The balloon rides and much more. The food here is also different as they have their own dishes. My daughter insisted on following Google reviews, so we would have the appetizers in one place, main course in another, deserts in a third place and our tea or coffee in yet another place, depending on which one received a five stars review. The hotel we stayed in was truly magnificent, the architecture is breath taking, you can see the artistic side of the town as well as its beauty. We also watched the Balloons over Cappadocia before sun rise, and enjoyed the scenery so much that I wished I would see it all the time (meaning, i hoped that I am living there), it was a very relaxing moment for me.
While walking one day, we found this time shop that is part of a house, with a very old man, he said that most of the products are made by him but some he procures from other places, it was just stunning, we went to him few times to get our souvenirs.
What fascinated me about Cappadocia is the ingeniousity of its creation, who was this genius who travelled to a place full of mountains and chimneys and thought “omm, I can dig a house inside this mountain and live in it”. The town was on the Silk Road route, so someone was clever enough to create it.
If you want my recommendation of which town to visit first, I would suggest Cappadocia and then the other towns. However what I had noticed in the towns I had visited this time and priorly, the country is intriguing and worth every minute of your visit. Its so unlike the other places I had gone to as you learn a new thing every day.
Two things you need to know, very few people speak any language but Turkish, so you may need to learn some words, and you need to bargain.