Turkey Trip - 2014

Tripoto
2nd Apr 2014

View from hot air baloon

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

View of the city from Metro train

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Private ferry coins

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Sitting outside in ferry

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Seagulls all over the sky

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Istanbul

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Blue Mosque Outside

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Blue mosque inside

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

In front of Tapoki palace

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Backalavah

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

traditional dance

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Traditional dance

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

The Kitchen in Kaymakli

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Maybe the bedroom

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Freshly made bread

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Kestane

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Mussels

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Rice filling in mussels

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Cay /chai

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Blue Mosque inside

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

World of lights

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Hukkah Place

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Gallipoli

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Sunset at Gallipoli

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Love at Izmir beach

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Izmir beach

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Theater in Efes

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Library front view Efes

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Library in Efes

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Carvings on stones used in the pillars

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Calcites : The cotton castle

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

water retained in calcites

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Hierapolis theater

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Oludenez

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Patara beach

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

having fun at the beach

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

gozhleme time :restaurant enroute to cappedoc

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Mountains made of volcanic ash (Cappedocia)

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

Top view of Goreme/Cappedocia

Photo of Turkey Trip - 2014 by Jyoti sharma

If I have to describe Turkey in one sentence, I would say, it has got the best of both European and Asian continents.

IstanbulGallipoliIzmir – Efes/Eephseue – Pammucale- Hierapolis - Oludenez   - Patara – cappedocia- kaymakli- Istanbul

IMPORTANT TIP:

Visas: If you have US visa or Schengen visa then you can apply online for the visa otherwise you have to go by usual process of applying it online and then submitting documents. As we had less time we went by an agent who took total 6000 rs and got us visa in a weeks time.

Food
As for the local authentic food in Istanbul, I would recommend the grape fruit juice, or any fruit juice on the main road. On this same road you can also have backalavah which is a local and very sweet Turkish sweet.
 
Here you can find many Turkish ice cream shops and it's a must have , not so much for the chewy texture or the taste but more so for the magical games the ice cream guys play :).
 
On the road u get bread for 1 lira which is fresh and another should have. Tea flows in the heart of this city. Any petrol pump offers it for free specially on highways and it is served in a particular cup which is beautiful otherwise you get it for 1 lira everywhere.
 
Kestane is another interesting road side food which u must try. For 5 lira you get 100 gm of this hot local dry fruit which in closest terminology to Indian food tastes like sweet potato

Also by the road near ferry you get mussels filled with rice and lime for 1 lira or 50 cents which you must try. Being a vegetarian turning non veggie, It was interesting for my taste buds but definitely only with lime.

Everywhere in Turkey, you also find Kahavalati which literally translates to 'Breakfast'. Its a sumptuous meal with fruits , vegetables, eggs, jam , butter, breads, beacons and sausages which you can find everywhere all over Turkey.

Stay

In Istanbul: Places to stay are good in Taksim square you get dorms for 20 lira per day with breakfast.
 
Car rentals
Next day we went to Taksim square where we had online booked the car. Now car can be very comfortable asyou can go around but you must be very careful with things below 
1) Money will be written in euro and transactions might happen in dollars which can create confusion
2) Additional driver, insurance is part of your online deal but to us they asked extra money luckily we were vigilant enough to show them in terms and conditions
3) Insurance is given but there are many terms and conditions like if u meet with an accident you ve to get a receipt from police else u can't claim insurance. For a dent we were asked to give 800 lira and eventually we landed up paying 600 lira. 
4) GPS is a must to avoid confusions 
5) Preferably take diesel car as it is cheaper
6) Left side driving to the right side of the road 
 
This trip was originally published on Joey- my travels for your ease.
Photo of Bangalore, Karnataka, India by Jyoti sharma
As tickets from Mumbai are cheaper than from Bangalore or Chennai so we took the flight from Mumbai. You might want to keep a buffer between your flights but at the same time would want it not to be so much that you waste time sitting at the airport doing nothing. If you plan and book in advance you also might get many options from Bangalore itself.
Photo of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India by Jyoti sharma
The flight landed at Ataturk airport. Just outside the airport the exchange people take 4% commission. Instead you can exchange some initial amount for 2% commission at a shop just out of the airport near tourist Information center on extreme right. Here exchange only minimum for your transport to where you want to reach as outside you get better rate without any commission. There are multiple options like Bus, taxi and Metro. We preferred metro as it was cheaper and also gave us the first look into the city. And actually the first day trip from airport to Gibi (The hotel where we stayed) in metro was a nice way to get to know the city.
Photo of Doha, Qatar by Jyoti sharma
We took red line till Zeytinburgu and from there tram till Sirkeci for 6 lira. You have maps available in all the metros which can be very handy and are free.
Next we took fairy for 3 Lira to get to Kadukoy. Beware as some private ferries are also there... We landed up taking private ticket and then got to know that they are different so their coin to enter is a souvenir for us now J. Ferry was an amazing experience with seagulls on our head and cold crazy wind. Even though it’s cold, you must sit out to experience the beauty. At Kadukoy bus 19 goes to Kayisdegi. As we had a hard time getting bus to Kayisdagi so we took taxi... Generally the taxi for that distance would cost around 25-30 lira but our taxi took 43 lira so you will have to be careful as language is a barrier and hence bargaining can’t work.
Photo of Kadıköy, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Kadıköy, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Kadıköy, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Kadıköy, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Kadıköy, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
It has free entry but they have namaz from 1-2 during which visitors are not allowed hence plan your visit. Ayefa museum has charges 20 lira tapoki palace charge 20 lira. Separate chamber in the palace has extra charges Arasta bazaar is nice but expensive
Photo of Sultan Ahmet Otoparki, Torun Sokak, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Sultan Ahmet Otoparki, Torun Sokak, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Sultan Ahmet Otoparki, Torun Sokak, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
The grand bazaar is open only till 7:30 so plan your day accordingly as this place offers many shops to buy souvenirs, lamps etc. Just next to the grand bazaar is an old adda for hukkah. The place is full of people and is filled of hukkah smoke with different flavors. We sat there for few hours having apple flavour hukkah and tea. The hukkah is for 15 lira and each cay (chai) for 1 lira. The place had a beautiful shop for lamps, but as expected expensive. On the main metro/ tram road, there was a shop on left side where I bought my single lamp for 25 lira each for a small size. If you plan to buy lamps, you can set aside a budget of 30-50 Lira per lamp based on the size of the lamp.
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Grand Bazaar, İstanbul Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Finally we started for Gallipoli; this is a world war1 sight. The place is deserted and the videos of World War 1 fights keep playing so you can spend time and get to know more details about the World War 1. The sunset in Gallipoli with sea on one side and mountains on other is worth the watch.
Photo of Gallipoli, İstanbul Caddesi, Bolayır, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Gallipoli, İstanbul Caddesi, Bolayır, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Next we took the ferry from Gallipoli to Izmir. We got down and drove to the city of Izmir. We reached at 3 in the morning and hence got a really horrible hotel named Ankara for 80 lira. Please don't go in this hotel as it has bed bugs, the toilets stink. Instead reach earlier and find a decent hotel to stay in. Much better places can be found online and booked in advance to avoid inconvenience Next day, we went to the beach side which is Aegean Sea. You can walk or rent bicycles and go around the beach. The place also has good clubs and pubs to offer. And apparently a good night life and good food! In the market there is a shop to buy local perfumes. Even though they are local and cheap, they are totally worth buying as they are good and long lasting, atleast to my taste of perfumes.
Photo of Izmir, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Izmir, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
The same day we started for Efes/ Ephseue. This is a must go place if you are travelling to Turkey. It has beautiful roman historical monuments like theatre, library. There is also Marymedene which is a big statue of Mother Mary. Efes has upper gate and lower gate. You can take taxi which will take you to Marymedene and then leave you at the upper gate, from where you can walk down and come to lower gate. The Efes site is 2 Km long and Marymedene is 10km away from Efes.
Photo of Efes, Selçuk, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Efes, Selçuk, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Efes, Selçuk, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Efes, Selçuk, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Next we left for Pammucale. Here we reached in the evening by 8ish and took a dorm named kale for 20 lira each with breakfast After freshening up we left for dinner this was the most expensive dinner of 115 lira but the food was very tasty and the local wine was also smooth. You have multiple options for food in this city. Next day morning, after about a 10 minutes’ walk we reached to the cotton castle. The mountain is made of calcite formations or traventines as they call it. The water was hot and cold at some places. Though it was written in lonely planet, that bathing is restricted, we saw few couples taking a plunge in nice warm water. And as I say that you can, I also say you must and so don't forget to carry your swim suit :).This place also offers para gliding for 120 lira and hot air ballooning for 90€... As I wanted to do hot air ballooning in Cappedocia so I didn't do here but I m sure paragliding here is worth it as you can get the top view of cotton castle. At the entrance you are given polythene to keep your shoes as you have to walk barefoot on the calcites. After 2km walk over calcites we reached on top which further connects to Hierapolis. The same ticket can be used to see Hierapolis but as we had already seen Efes, Hierapolis didn't ve much to offer except a deadly gas zone told by lonely planet. To see the same, we went to the theatre in Hieraplois but couldn’t find it. The theatre here was similar to the one in Efes but the stage here was more beautiful with many statues from the old time. We returned via calcites to the dorm room picked our luggage and left for Lycian path.
Photo of Pamukkale, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Pamukkale, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Pamukkale, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Pamukkale, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
First we reached to Oludenez which is a pebble beach but with clear turquoise blue color water. We didn’t find many people but being a biking enthusiast what caught my attention was this lovely couple in leather jacket with their food packed, on their BMW bike. Next we left for Kabak The road was mountainous with steep roads and sharp hair bends... In an hour we reached to the dead end. For Kabak beach the car can't go any further from here and you ve to walk down to reach Kabak beach. In lieu of time we didn’t walk down and instead left for patara beach. To go to Patara, one has to go to Fethiye again and then take diversion for Patara. We reached by 9-10 p.m. to Patara and stayed in rose pension for 110 lira. As they didn't have pension, we took an apartment for 110 lira where 5 people could ve stayed. Next morning after sumptuous breakfast we left for the beach The ticket to the beach is 5 lira. This is a sandy beach with calm blue turquoise greenish all different tinges of color reflecting .The bath near the parking area is available for 2 lira where you can change also.
Photo of Patara Beach, Kaş, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Patara Beach, Kaş, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Patara Beach, Kaş, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
As it's a long distance from Patara to Cappedocia, so we decided to halt at Sultanhani. As it's a small town, in the night by 8-9 everything was closed. Luckily a jewelers shop was open, the gentleman there took us to a Kavmane pension which is off road and not easy to find. As it was off season, the whole pension was free. We took a room for 120 lira with breakfast. Next morning the breakfast was a nice omelette and kahavalti. And with that we immediately left for Cappedocia. On the way there is Ihalari valley which is an underground valley of 3km but we couldn’t cover this. Finally we reached Goreme/Cappedocia and the only thing I can say is it’s a must go place! The place is full of mountains made from volcanic ash which has got hardened due to rain. The sight is marvelous that even after being there for 2 days, I was still mesmerized by the place. More interesting for me were the newly built houses in the old rock formations. You can get stay information from accommodation information centre which is in the heart of the city. We stayed at Ali's guest house and I definitely can vouch for it. It’s a newly built guest house which provides dorm for 20 lira with breakfast and all day tea, apple tea and coffee. The dorm was very clean and tidy. At Ali’s guest house we booked our dervish dance which happens 10 km from Goreme in govt known centre for 20 euro. FYI dervish dance happens in Konya City centre every Saturday at 7:30 for free. As heard from yan ( A fellow traveler who met us in Pammucale), it was authentic but local people were not serious hence their phones were ringing and there were loads of disturbances. The place where we experienced this mystical dance was a beautiful, quiet and calm old historical building. The dance went for an hour. The music, instruments, those prayers were just amazing. The best was the technique of those dancers who kept turning at the same place for half an hour without spotting, hands in the air and the head tilted. Outside they gave us a warm cinnamon drink which had a very interesting and authentic taste. Once back in Cappedocia near our guest house, we had gozhleme which is Turkish version of our Indian parantha or western pan cake. The only difference in parantha and gozhleme is that they make it really long ... It was worth a try especially on the way from Sultanhani to Cappedocia on the road side hotel where we sat next to their tandoor and ate gozhleme with chilli in vinegar and hot chai. If you aim for hot air ballooning in Cappedocia then plan in a way that you book in advance and are in Goreme at 6 in morning because ballooning happens only in the morning.We booked with Turkish Balloning Company for 160 Euros. The price for ballooning varies from min for 90 € and max for 175€ based on the experience of the pilots and the company brand. In morning they picked us up at 5:15 a.m. at Ali’s guest house. After sumptuous breakfast they took us to the sight and showed us how balloon is filled and then we took off. We went max height of 800m covered 20km at 15 km/hr speed... It was an amazing beautiful sight with balloons all around us. It was a great experience but nothing adventurous. Once down the local champagne was opened, certificates were given and then we were dropped back to our hotel.
Photo of Göreme, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Göreme, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Göreme, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Göreme, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Göreme, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Next we left for Kaymakli this is an underground city. The entry ticket is for 15 lira. From Goreme take a local bus to Nevsheir for 2.5 lira. This bus operates at every 1/2 hour. From Nevsheir take another bus to Kaymakli for 3 lira. The city in my eyes is weird and haunted. I wonder how people lived there as there was hardly any ventilation. Initially, I didn't follow signs so I was lost once I came out, I realized the whole tour can be made easier by following arrows and I went again, this time following the arrows :p. The red arrow are to go in and the blue ones to come out. And then we left back for Goreme. Goreme has many shops where you can buy magnets, key chain and other souvenirs. In the evening, we took a metro bus from Goreme to Istanbul for 60 lira. We booked a day before and hence paid 60 lira. If it is booked in advance, you can get cheaper rates also. We were told t bus will have wifi but it didn't have and this reminds me that you get wifi mostly everywhere in Turkey. Morning bus reached at 6 instead of 7, we slept at the bus station for 2 hours and then took a red metro to Ataturk airport which is where I have finished writing my blog of this amazing trip while waiting for Qatar airways flight which is late
Photo of Kaymaklı, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
Photo of Kaymaklı, Turkey by Jyoti sharma
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