Vacationing in Turkey-3

Subject: Just back from Turkey

Back from our 16 day vacation in Turkey. Many thanks to all of you who sent recommendations on what to see and do! Bottom line -- we LOVED it! We loved the people, the food, the scenery, the water, the ambience -- even the carpet salesmen! Wouldn't have changed the itinerary -- unless we could have added to it! One day we'll get around to a more complete write up but for now -- a few enthusiasms. * Antalya was a great place to start. We stayed within view of the marina in the old town. Discovered the joys of meze and that wonderful sesame "roll" called a semit. * Rented cars -- great thing to do! No problem driving! * Next stop was Kas -- did the obligatory boat ride to Kekova -- really worth it! Loved the food, ambience, service and attention at the Mercan -- restaurant right on the waterfront! Discovered buglama and yogurt with honey! The grilled squid was excellent, too! (And fresh swordfish!) * On to Bodrum -- never saw such fabulous wooden boats and clear waters. Amphora was our favorite restaurant there. They encouraged one member of our party of four [my husband] to try EVERY meze for a very reasonable fixed price -- one happy man! * Detoured inland to Pammukale [stopping to buy honey on the road to Mugla and fresh yogurt at the Saturday market in Kale. We were definitely the only Americans in town at the latter and everyone wanted to be friendly and helpful!] (English is a second language) * Stayed on the hill in Pammukale -- view and travertines incredible -- as was the swimming outside of our room. (Rooms down town were $12 per night for two nights!) But the ruins of Hierapolis were also awesome. Wish I had paid for a camel ride! * On to Kusadasi -- stopping at the market in Nazilli for more fresh yogurt, cheese and ekmek -- not to mention those fab semits and some honey glazed something. We had great picnics! * Took some doing but finally found the Hotel Stella in Kusadasi -- room with a balcony overlooking all the goings-on in the harbor. (and they sold rugs!) Who could ask for better! Went to Ephesus, of course (great guide, the merchant of Ephesus), and the museum and basilica in Selcuk. Had a wonderful lunch at Secil in Selcuk. Such friendly people -- such great food! (and friendly cats) * Tore ourselves away from the delights of Kusadasi as we had reservations in Istanbul the next day -- detoured to see Pergamum. While eating our usual picnic (in the park at Bergama this time) met who should surely become a future mayor of Bergama, if not PM of Turkey -- a charming young 13 year old boy by the name of Faid. Wish we had taken his picture to send him (he gave us a present of a puzzle for our grandchildren! Wish we had been awake enough to get his name. the children everywhere came up to say "hello"). * Late leaving Bergama but persisted on to Assos -- arriving at 9 PM. Agreed -- not everyone had their headlights on. Assos was surely a charming place and we loved hearing the waves crash through the night (and the boats starting up at the crack of dawn). * So we crossed the Dardanelles at Canukkale -- and barreled on to Istanbul -- and in a city of almost 12 million, had little trouble driving right to our hotel in Sultanahmet -- across from the Hippodrome -- the Alzer. It was/is a great place to stay. In the midst of everything -- and such friendly, warm service! Nice rooms, great views and plenty of lovely hot water. Our cars were returned to the airport and the hotel happily fed us at 10:00 PM. * Too much to say about Istanbul -- it was wonderful. We are so glad we stayed in Sultanahmet! All our meals were memorable -- but the night in Kumpaki was probably the most memorable -- just for sights and sounds. The skyline of Istanbul as one crosses the Galata Bridge -- the emeralds (and diamonds) in Topkapi -- the wonderful, beautiful mosques (need to go to Edirne now) -- a ride on the Bosphorus (complete with Kanlica yogurt) -- the splendors of Dolmabahce -- the displays at the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum -- and all the sights and sounds of the Covered Market and the Egyptian Spice Market (not to mention the rugs). Just began to scratch the surface! So who are we -- two couples in their mid to late 50's who love to travel! We don't do tours (yet) and we prefer small hotels with some local flavor! The four of us agree that Turkey must be one of the best kept tourist destination secrets in the United States. Clearly the Germans and British have discovered the wonders of it all! Off to read books about Ataturk and the Ottomans -- and learn how to make REAL yogurt. We shall return -- one bottle of raki won't last forever. Sally and Bill Light
Date: 19 May 1995 22:02:05 GMT From: Bill Light Newsgroups: soc.culture.turkish,

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