Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'turkey'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • 2010
    • France 2010
  • 2011
    • Slovakia & Ukraine 2011
    • Croatia 2011
  • 2012
    • Italy 2012
  • 2013
    • Croatia & Montenegro 2013
    • Baltics 2013
    • Slovenia & Croatia 2013
    • Italy 2013
    • Oslo 2013
  • 2014
    • Spain 2014
    • Balkans 2014
    • Sardinia 2014
    • Italy 2014
    • Belgium 2014
  • 2015
    • France 2015
    • Sweden 2015
    • Italy & Switzerland 2015
    • Lithuania 2015
    • Czech Republic 2015
    • Croatia & Slovenia 2015
    • Italy 2015
    • Catalonia 2015
    • Lapland 2015
  • 2016
    • Norway 2016
    • Sweden 2016
    • Spain, Catalonia & France 2016
    • Slovakia 2016
    • Denmark & Sweden 2016
    • Croatia & Montenegro 2016
    • Italy 2016
    • Lapland 2016
  • 2017
    • Paris 2017
    • France (South) 2017
    • The Netherlands 2017
    • Croatia & Montenegro 2017
    • Fuerteventura 2017
    • France (Alps) 2017
    • Italy (Lake Como) 2017
    • Portugal & Spain 2017
    • Italy (South) 2017
    • Tenerife 2017
    • Lapland 2017
  • 2018
    • Malta 2018
    • Lithuania 2018
    • Azores 2018
    • Central Europe 2018
    • Finland 2018
    • Iceland 2018
    • Greece 2018
    • Lapland 2018
  • 2019
    • Italy 2019
    • Ukraine 2019
    • Russia 2019
    • Sicily 2019
    • Spain 2019
    • Bulgaria & Romania 2019
    • Cyprus 2019
    • Poland 2019
    • Italy winter 2019
    • Lapland 2019
  • 2020
    • Scotland 2020
    • Northumberland 2020
    • Scottish Islands 2020
  • 2021
    • Northumberland 2021
    • The Borders 2021
    • Devon 2021
    • Wales 2021
    • Scottish Islands 2021
    • Isle of Mull 2021
    • Northumberland (again!) 2021
    • Poland 2021
    • Spain 2021
  • 2022
    • Monaco 2022
    • Liechtenstein 2022
    • Mallorca 2022
    • USA 2022
    • Luxembourg
    • Azores 2022
  • 2023
    • Lapland 2023
    • Finland 2023
    • Murcia 2023
    • Isle of Man 2023
    • Tuscany 2023
    • Greenland 2023
    • Italy 2023
    • Guernsey 2023
    • Greece and Turkey 2023
    • Slovakia 2023
    • Madeira 2023


There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start



About Me

Found 4 results

  1. It was another lovely sunny morning when we woke up in Selçuk. We sat outside an enjoyed another Turkish breakfast with the same ingredients as yesterday. The only change today was that they didn't serve us a plate of cucumber and tomato, which was a relief; they'd obviously picked up on the fact that we hadn't eaten any of it yesterday! After breakfast we packed up our things and made our way towards the final destination of this holiday: Bodrum. It was a drive of around 2.5 hours from Selçuk to Bodrum and quite a scenic journey, driving first of all along the shore of Lake Bafa and then across the Bodrum peninsula. We weren't officially able to check into our hotel in Bodrum until 3pm, so my plan was to find some parking in the city centre and get lunch. However, driving in Bodrum turned out to be a nightmare. The city is built on steep sloping hills and there's a one-way system in operation around the town centre and marina. Parking isn't signposted in advance in Turkey in the way it is in most European countries, so even though "otopark" is one of the few words we know in Turkish, by the time we'd seen a sign for one of the handful of car parks, we'd already have driven past it. After failing to find anywhere to park either in the town or by the harbour, we decided to drive straight to the hotel instead and try our luck there. The hotel did have a reasonable-sized car park at least, so we pulled up there and went to reception. The good news was that our room was already ready and they were happy to let us check in a bit early And it turned out to be a really nice place. We've got a big living area... ...with a kitchen... ...plus a separate bedroom. But the best bit is definitely the balcony! We've got a fantastic view of this beautiful bit of the Turkish coast. The hotel is on a bit of a hill outside the centre of Bodrum, so once we'd unpacked the essentials we set off downhill towards the town centre. On the way, I caught sight of something I hadn't expected on the hillside. You'll struggle to make it out in the photo above unless you really zoom in, but here's a close-up. I thought that was pretty cool; it reminded me of our trip to Brașov in 2019! Once we got down to sea level, we got our first glimpse of Bodrum Castle on the opposite side of the harbour. We walked along the city's seaside promenade, looking for somewhere to get lunch. On the way, we passed one of the city's many mosques. We chose a restaurant where we almost had a view of the sea, although it was somewhat blocked out by some of the large boats in the harbour. After experimenting with Turkish food yesterday, we were less adventurous today and both opted for a chicken schnitzel. After lunch we continued around the sea front, trying to get a better view of the castle. We were just on time to hear the call to prayer being played from the loudspeakers on a couple of the city centre minarets. We've heard it from a distance a few times but it's really loud when you're right by the minaret! In the centre of town we found what we think was a monument commemorating Atatürk. This looked like it might be a war memorial, engraved with names and dates. There was also a huge Bodrum sign Eventually we made it around to the castle. It turned out it was actually more impressive from a distance and it was difficult to get a sense of how big it was from close up. At this point we turned around and began to retrace our steps to the apartment, with a brief stop at a supermarket to pick up some supplies for tonight. We walked back along the main coastal road, where all the trees are in beautiful patterned pots. One featured chickens... ...while another had some really cool cats Once back at the apartment I realised that from our balcony we could see Bodrum's windmills, built in the 18th century. As night began to fall we had a fantastic view of the sunset from our balcony too. The colours never seem to come out as brightly in photographs as they look in real life, but it was really beautiful. Even once the sun had disappeared behind the mountains, the colours in the sky were superb. It was a perfect end to what has been an amazing holiday
  2. We were determined to make an early start to see the ruins at Ephesus today. Having looked up arrivals at Kuşadası, the cruise port nearest to Ephesus, the other day I'd realised that there were two ships due to be in port today: one carrying 4,200 passengers and one another 2,000. That was a lot of people to be descending on one set of ruins at the same time! I set my alarm for 7am and we're staying nearby enough that we'd made it to Ephesus and parked by around 07.50. There are two separate entrances to the Ephesus site; a north and south gate. We'd chosen to enter via the north gate, as it was closer to two of the main sites I wanted to see, and also I'd read that most coach tours were dropped off at the south gate. It was definitely quiet at the north gate before 8am, with only a couple of other cars in the car park. We queued up and bought our tickets, becoming (we think!) the 6th and 7th people to get into Ephesus this morning. Wow! One of the key sights I really wanted to see was the Great Theatre. I'd read that this was near the north entrance and sure enough, we caught sight of it almost straight away. The theatre has an estimated seating capacity of 25,000, making it one of the largest theatres in the ancient world. It certainly looked huge! We almost had it to ourselves, although not quite. In addition to a couple of other tourists, there was a pack of stray dogs living in Ephesus who decided to follow us in. They weren't aggressive though and kept their distance (well, I kept my distance from them; Tim made friends with them!) After the theatre we made our way down one of the long streets of Ephesus. This led us to a viewpoint looking out over the agora, almost devoid of people at this time of the morning. In the distance, we also got our first view of the other main sight I was excited to see at Ephesus. This is the Library of Celsus. It was commissioned by a Roman consul in memory of his father and became the third most important library in the Roman world, second only to the libraries in Alexandria and Pergamum. The library is estimated to have held 12,000 different scrolls. Unfortunately, the contents of the library were completely destroyed by a fire following an invasion of Goths in 262 AD. The marble facade survived the fire, but was then toppled by an earthquake in the 10th or 11th century. Austrian archaeologists reconstructed the facade between 1970 and 1978, resulting in what we can see today. It's a really beautiful building and it was so great to see it with hardly any other people around Once we'd finished admiring the library, we walked down through the agora. It was really quiet and peaceful here still. In the distance on the hill we could see an area covered by a protected roof. These are the so-called terraced houses, the remains of a collection of homes inhabited by wealthy Romans. There are still archaeologists at work here, piecing together bits of marble and stone. As we followed a path around the different rooms we could see the remains of all sorts of decorations and paintings. Some walls were really colourful... ...while others looked like they had had more tasteful decorations. As we climbed a series of metal staircases and ladders, more and more floors opened up beneath us. And then once we got to the top, we were able to see the mosaics. Again, there was hardly anyone else in here at this time of the morning. That was good because I think it would have been quite claustrophobic trying to climb the various staircases and being blocked by large tour parties. As it was we were able to stop and enjoy things as much as we wanted. And when we finally emerged into daylight at the top of the houses, we had a great view down across Ephesus from on high. By the time we'd climbed back down to ground level, the first of the the tour groups were starting to make their way towards us from the south gate. Tim managed to expertly negotiate a group of Chinese tourists to take a photo of the Temple of Hadrian. From this point our route led uphill, while almost everyone else was walking downhill from the south gate. At first we met fairly small groups of people... ...but it soon became bigger and bigger crowds. We still found some impressive sights on this side of Ephesus, though. The theatre-shaped building in the background of this picture was the town's odeon and seated around 1,500 people. Eventually we'd made our way more or less to the top of the site, so we turned around and began retracing our steps to the north gate where we'd started. By the time we made it back to the Library of Celsus, it was a bit busier than it had been first thing. The car park was also a lot busier! It had been almost empty when we'd arrived and now we estimated that there were at least 40 coaches. Breakfast at our hotel didn't start until 8am, so we had been exploring Ephesus on empty stomachs. We headed back to the hotel, where we got to try a more authentic Turkish breakfast than we've had for the past few days. We were slightly concerned when the above spread was placed on our table, unclear what many of the ingredients actually were! The little pots turned out to be a mixture of honey and various fruit jams. We also had feta cheese and a huge amount of tomato and cucumber which we didn't eat! Finally, we received a huge basket of bread, a pan containing two fried eggs and four little cheese pastries. It was definitely very different to a chip and bacon butty! After breakfast we sat outside on some of the hotel sun-loungers and admired the mountain views and the infinity pool. Despite the fact that it was a warm day, the water felt freezing so the closest I got to swimming was a paddle in the small pool When lunchtime came around, we drove into the town of Selçuk in search of a restaurant. We found one where I was able to try lahmacun, a Turkish pizza. When it came it was like a flatbread covered in minced meat. It was very tasty! We didn't know what any of the items on the dessert menu were, so chose two at random. The first was cold when it came, similar to a creme caramel. The second was called baked halva and it was the opposite: extremely warm! They were both very sweet and delicious After lunch we had a walk around Selçuk because there were a handful more sights which I wanted to see. The first of these was the final remaining pillar of the Temple of Artemis. It may not look too impressive now, but this column in the foreground is all that remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today the column is also notable for having an enormous nest on top of it. We didn't see any birds today, but apparently this is a stork's nest. While not much remains of the temple, it was a really interesting viewpoint because from here we could also see the Isa Bey mosque, constructed in the 14th century, and Selçuk's Byzantine fortress. We walked a little closer to the mosque but it was undergoing reconstruction work so we couldn't get a great view. Our route took us past some of the old town walls. Finally, we ended up at the Basilica of St John, a 6th century church which is believed to stand over the burial site of St John the Apostle. This was a real tourist hotspot, with enormous coaches reversing up a small street. We didn't linger long but it was nice to get a glimpse. Overall it's been a really exciting day and I'm so pleased we managed to beat the majority of the crowds at Ephesus
  3. After I finished the blog last night, we went out for a final meal in Dalyan. As we were walking towards a restaurant, we realised that the ancient tombs on the far side of the river had been illuminated at night. They'd been impressive to see during the day, but they were really quite eerie and spooky at night! We had another lovely meal, with some delicious flatbread to start. While I was fairly unadventurous with garlic chicken, Tim decided to try a special Turkish dish. It consisted of chicken and potato in a sauce with onion, tomato and lemon, and it was served sizzling hot. I finished the meal with a Turkish coffee, while Tim decided to try Turkish tea. I'd planned to make an early start this morning, as we had a fairly long day of driving ahead of us. After yesterday's experience with searching for breakfast, however, it seemed like it probably wasn't worth setting out much before 9am. We took a little walk along the weather on our way to the same cafe as yesterday, and realised that there were some really tiny tombs carved into the rock which we hadn't noticed the other day. You'll struggle to make them out on the photos without zooming right in, but they're to the left of the photo, just above the reeds where the cliff face comes to an end. It was a really beautiful view The views down the river in the other direction were really lovely too. We admired the tombs for a final time, then went to get breakfast. I had a cheese omelette today, while Tim had a bacon butty. Once we'd had breakfast we checked out of the hotel and set off on our journey towards our ultimate destination for the evening: Selçuk. When I was planning the holiday I decided that taking a direct route to Selçuk wasn't going to be very exciting, so I'd built in a bit of a diversion. The diversion would add an extra hour of driving onto our route, but it also meant that we got to visit an archaeological site which I was hoping would be really impressive. The journey certainly got off to a good start, as we drove on small roads with some incredible views of the surrounding countryside. After around 3 hours in the car, we reached the archaeological site at Aphrodisias. Aphrodisias was an ancient Greek city and was the capital of the Roman province of Caria. Aphrodisias was famous in the Roman world for its sculptures, mostly main from local marble. In particular, the local sculptors seem to have produced a lot of marble sarcophagi and a display of those was the first thing that we saw once we'd paid our tickets and entered the site. Lots of them had faces carved on them, some scarier than others! Sarcophagi weren't the only carvings; we also walked past these. No idea what they were, but they looked in impressive condition. We also came across various stones which looked like they were inscribed with Greek lettering. We followed signs towards the first main sight: the temple of Aphrodite. When we came to the structure in the photo below, we assumed we'd found it. It turned out we were wrong. This wasn't the temple, but apparently a tetrapylon; a large monumental gateway. This would have stood at the end of the main road leading towards the temple. It was really impressive anyway and we've definitely been to places which claimed to have Roman ruins but had nothing quite as impressive as this We got distracted in our search for the temple when we saw a sign pointing towards the stadium. We followed the arrows and wow, this was huge! The stadium at Aphrodisias is one of the biggest and best preserved ancient stadiums in the world. It was built in the first century AD and would originally have been home to popular Greek sports such as races, wrestling and boxing. Later, it would also have been used for Roman gladiatorial combat. The stadium was capable of seating 30,000 spectactors! To give a sense of scale, if you look towards the right of the photo below then the small person you can see is me. It was really amazing to see and pretty incredible to have it to ourselves Once we'd finished admiring the stadium, we finally stumbled upon the Temple of Aphrodite. A temple to the Greek goddess of love is thought to have originally been built here in the 6th century BC. That was later replaced by a more impressive temple in the 1st century BC. The temple would have been the focal point of the city of Aphrodisias and people would have travelled on pilgrimages to see it. The temple was later repurposed as a Christian basilica by order of the Emperor Zeno. There are enough columns left standing to give an impression of what it must have looked like. Though some of the columns look more stable than others! We encountered a small group of Russian tourists here, but once they'd moved on we had the entire place to ourselves again. This is definitely not one of those sites where you have to arrive early to avoid the crowds Our next stop after the temple was the Bouleuterion, which would have been the council house of the town. It looked like a small Roman theatre. Again, there was no one else here! I was able to try out one of the bench seats in the top row. Next to the council house we found the public baths. After the sights we'd already seen today, they seemed less impressive; but they had a lot to compete with! We figured we must have seen everything in Aphrodisias now so began to make our way round towards the exit. On the way we found the agora area, where there would have been gardens and even a pool. The pool was here in the centre and looks like it would have been huge. From this point the path began to lead uphill. We climbed reluctantly - it was such a hot day - but when we got to the top of the slope we were glad we'd made the effort. If we hadn't, we'd have missed this enormous theatre. Wow! Now we really were almost at the exit. On the way out we walked past a wall made up of different carvings found around the site. We passed this temple, which also had some incredible carvings. Then one final wall of sculptures and we really had seen everything Aphrodisias was incredible; definitely one of the best archaeological sites we've ever been to! From there we had a drive of another two hours or so until we reached Selçuk. We're staying for a couple of nights in a hotel on the edge of the town. We found it without too much difficulty and it's in a lovely location, but once we'd arrived we couldn't find any reception or instructions about what we were supposed to do, which was a bit frustrating. A phone call later, we finally got into our room. Phew! It's been a busy day but one with some spectacular sights. Ephesus is going to have to be really good tomorrow to beat Aphrodisias!
  4. We don't have breakfast included at the hotel where we're staying in Dalyan, so our first task this morning was to find somewhere to eat. That did indeed end up being quite a challenge; we weren't up particularly early, but as we wandered around the streets at 9am we found that most places were still either closed or in the process of setting up. It did at least give us another opportunity to admire the view of the ancient tombs in the morning sunshine. Eventually we found a cafe that was advertising English breakfasts. Not necessarily what we would have chosen, but it had food and was open so that gave it an advantage over everywhere else we'd seen. I had scrambled egg on toast, while Tim had beans on toast plus a surprisingly large bacon & chip butty! Not quite what we expected to be eating in Turkey, but the eggs were lovely and the bacon was surprisingly good too. Once we'd eaten breakfast our aim for the day was to drive down the coast for an hour or so, towards a place called Ölüdeniz where there was supposed to be a cable car with really impressive views. The journey itself had very impressive views, as we made our way through a scenic wooded landscape, getting occasional glimpses of the coast. We arrived in Ölüdeniz around midday and successfully navigated our way to the carpark for the cable car station... only to find that it was closed There was a sign saying something about technical maintenance. A man emerged from the carpark booth and said that it would be open again in an hour so we should come back then. We decided to drive down into the centre of Ölüdeniz and have a walk by the sea while we waited. As we made our way downhill to the coast we had an amazing spectacle in front of us: there were dozens of people paragliding through the sky. I'd read that the mountain above the town, Mount Babadağ, was popular with paragliders, but I hadn't expected there to be quite so many, or for some of them to be quite so low! We had a stroll along the town's main beach. The coastline was absolutely gorgeous here. And the sea was a beautiful shade of blue. Ölüdeniz is famous for its "Blue Lagoon", a nature reserve with a sandy beach and incredible blue water. If you do a Google image search for "Ölüdeniz blue lagoon", you'll see what I mean. We spent about 15 minutes walking down a peninsula to see it... and were a bit underwhelmed! The water just didn't look very blue! If anything, it looked less blue than the water of the sea around the corner. Also it was quite a busy, popular beach so it was difficult to take many photos. Perhaps the lagoon doesn't look blue when you're up close next to it, but does if you see it from the air? That might explain why so many people were paragliding! We were still hoping to see it from the air if we managed to get up the cable car. An hour had definitely passed by this point so we jumped back in the car and drove back up the hill to the cable car parking. Unfortunately, when we arrived it was still closed. A man explained to us that the estimated completion of the maintenance work kept being extended - it was only supposed to have taken an hour in the morning, then it was extended to midday, then 1pm and now the new estimate was 3pm. That didn't sound too promising, so we decided to give up on the cable car plan and drive to the nearby seaside town of Fethiye instead. Fethiye is quite a big town with a population of 178,000, so it took us a while to navigate our way through it and find somewhere to park. Once we did, we were able to have a nice stroll around by the harbour. There was a nice promenade, line with palm trees. Regrettably I didn't get a photo of this, but there was also a really nice cycle path... which the local population were enthusiastically driving up and down on mopeds and scooters. There wasn't much cycling going on We found a cafe to get a late lunch near to the harbour. There were loads of large yachts parked up there, including one with a Russian flag! After lunch we had another stroll alongside the water. It really was very picturesque here. Then it was time to get back in the car and navigate our way out of the city and back towards Dalyan. It was a shame not to be able to go up the cable car, but we've had a fun day in Turkey nevertheless
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.