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World Experiences: Turkey

[ 4 ] August 11, 2011 |

I’ve always wanted to go to Turkey but sadly I’ve not yet had the pleasure in delighting in all its unique experiences to write World Experiences Turkey. So what did I do?… I enlisted the writing talents of Jack of Perking the Pansies an expat living in Turkey to share what he believes are the ‘must have’ experiences to really get to the heart of Turkey and it’s culture.

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You haven’t experienced Turkey until you have…

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…Gazed up in awe at the Dome of Hagia Sofia.

Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul – imperial capital, city of two continents, home to over 13 million people and epicentre of Turkish cultural and economic life. At its ancient heart is the old city, Sultanahmet, where the majestic Hagia Sofia proclaims her seniority to the grand upstarts around her.  The 1600 year dome seems to float effortlessly above the ancient marble floor like a painted UFO coming into land. Cathedral, mosque and museum, Justinian’s masterpiece is a part of the seductive silhouette of mosques and minarets that define the famous city skyline. Rest outside in the lovingly tended parks and listen to the call to prayer in thunderous surround sound.

Hagia Sofiya

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…Waded through the icy waters of Saklikent Gorge.

This 18 km gorge in Lycian Turkey is hundreds of feet deep, transports vast quantities of crystal-clear snow melt from the Taurus Mountains every year and is virtually invisible until you get inside it. Traverse the wooden walkways to get to the mouth of the gorge, wade knee-deep through freezing open waters and ascend the 4kms that are walkable. Wear sensible shoes you don’t mind getting wet, be prepared for bruises as you will slip and don’t visit before April or you’ll likely drown. After your healthy exertion take tea in the ramshackle carpeted cafés that line the entrance.

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…Tumbled over the glorious ruins of Arycanda.

Built on five terraces high above a fertile plain, Arycanda was a leading city of ancient Lycia. The ruins are impressive and largely intact as the abandoned city’s high isolation prevented the dressed stones from being plundered in later periods. Unlike more famous sites like Ephesus, Arycanda isn’t overrun by camera-toting tourists so a leisurely tumble is a fun diversion. The city’s position, precariously perched on the side of a verdant mountain provides a spectacular vista. Watch the sun set as it bathes the ruins in soft orange light.

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…Sauntered along Bodrum’s celebrated promenade.

Old Bodrum Town is where the Turkish well-heeled come to get well-oiled.  In the heat of the day people slowly amble along the promenade, gorge on gossip in the cafés, browse and graze in the posh shops or relax under cooling shade of a tall palm tree. By night the prom sizzles to the heavy beat of Turkopop and a madding crowd of the weird, the wonderful and the well-to-do.

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…Dived off a Gulet and snorkeled in shimmering turquoise waters.

A gulet is a two-masted wooden sailing boat originating from the Aegean coast of Turkey. Take a leisurely cruise around isolated coves and drop anchor at various brushy islets for a dip in the gorgeous translucent waters of the warm Ege. Your cheery skipper will provide a simple but delicious lunch of fresh fish, meat balls or chicken accompanied by mezes, pasta and salad washed down with chilled and cheerful Anatolian vino. End the voyage lazing away the afternoon basking on the deck.

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Imagine the absurdity of two openly gay, recently married middle aged, middle class men escaping the liberal sanctuary of anonymous London to relocate to a Muslim country. Jack chronicles their exploits with the mad, the sad, the bad and the glad in a blog for the whole world to ignore. Read about it on Perking the Pansies.

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Are you an expat? Have you spent an extended period of time in one country? If that sounds like you I’d love your contribution to the world experiences series! If you have offbeat and authentic cultural experiences to share from a particular country contact me here.

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Category: Europe

About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include http://ourtravellifestyle.com, http://vagabondfamily.org, http://nunomad.com and now http://on-our-way-travel.com. View author profile.

Comments (4)

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  1. Chris says:

    I’ve got a friend teaching in Turkey who is constantly harassing me to come join him.

    Had he shown me this post, I daresay I wouldn’t have resisted quite so much :-p
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..Ten Tips for ESL Teachers =-.

  2. Alan
    Twitter:
    says:

    you’re not wrong Jack – even so, just scratching the surface of this wonderful country.
    .-= Alan´s last blog ..Okçular’s Photo Archive =-.

  3. Anne Mackle
    Twitter:
    says:

    Lovely photos. I holiday in Turkey every year,love it. Going to Kayakoy this year,it is also the site of a ghost village. Only found your site because my Paper li picked it up because it was about Turket but great site.

  4. Kevin says:

    Those are some beautiful shots. I haven’t made it to Turkey yet but its been on my list for a while now. This only makes me want to get there sooner.

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