Turkey

After travelling through very strongly Islamic countries, Turkey was such a change. Although it does have a large number of Muslems, Ataturks secular reforms mean that the country feels much more like a Western country. It does depend what part of the country you are in, but in general the women are not covered up, and beer is sold everywhere. My kind of country.

Cappadocia has some of the strangest geography I’ve ever seen. There’s just something weird about the houses and churches carved into the rock. The underground cities were unreal – 7 levels carved out of the rock. Goreme is an awesome little town to stop in too.

This is a typical sort of thing you see in the area:

Typical Cappadocia view

It was a real bugger when the wife decided to redecorate and move the furniture

Carved Dining Table

These are some typical views when walking around Goreme:

Goreme Goreme

Disappearing down for seven levels, a complete city:

Underground City

You just can’t get away from the endless tourist shite shops. Evil eyes were particularly popular in turkey

Tourist Shops

On a nice day trip from Goreme, we went for a long walk down this lovely valley.

Cappadocia Valley

Cappadocia Valley

More weird landscapes

Weird Landscapes

Yes, I know what you’re thinking

Penis-shaped rocks

Penis-shaped rocks

There were a suprising amount of turtles around, far from the water. I just about stood on this one. I even saw people stopping their cars, and running out to rescue turtles that had gone out onto the road. (Or are they tortoises? Need to look it up)

Turtles

I went on a cruise from Kas to Fethiye, with Olympos Yachting. 3 nights, all meals, 111ft yacht, only €100. Pretty good price. Here’s a few shots from along the way

Like the Greek Islands Yacht parking lot Front of our yacht

Ephesus gets a pretty good reputation for the quality and completeness of the ruins, but I think by the time I got there I had had enough of Roman ruins. I think Leptis Magna is probably a better site anyway.

Ephesus Theatre Ephesus Library

Troy, for al the romance associated with it, is very difficult to understand. The horse was probably the best bit

Trojan Horse

Obviously a trip to Gallipoli was in order while I was visiting Turkey. Quite the experience to go there, you realise just how narrow the strip of land they were fighting over was. You can also see how close together the trenches were.

Turkish memorial Trenches

Beach they should have landed at Turkish memorial Anzac Cove Anzac Beach Ataturk's words Ataturk's memorial, Chunuk Bair View from Chunuk Bair

Istanbul was a pretty impressive city, with buildings like the Aya Sophia and Blue Mosque, and huge oil tankers passing through just a few kilometres away

Blue Mosque Passing Tanker Istanbul from Ataturk Bridge

Just a small, unassuming stone, with only a tiny sign next to it – and yet, at one time, all distances in the Empire were measured from this marker.

Mile Stone

The Basilica Cistern was probably my favourite thing I did. Question: Did they place the Medusa heads sideways, and upside down for a reason, or were they just pinching stones from other places, and they fitted that way?

Basilica Cistern Medusa Head Medusa Head

Although by this stage I was getting pretty well sick of souqs, The Grand Bazaar was a step up from others I’ve seen. An early precursor of the shopping mall, really

Grand Bazaar