I will mention the cost breakup at the end.
Well, I reached Izmir where I had a stay in In- House hostel Izmir which was in the downtown area. Izmir is considered to be the most modern city in Turkey with a lot of student population. At the same time it is one of the oldest with 3000 years of recorded history. On 24th morning, I took a train to Ephesus which was like an hour from Izmir downtown. Ephesus is one of the ancient Greek cities built around 1000 BC. It was amazing to relive 2500 years old history where all the Greek and Roman ruins have been preserved four tourists. I had a nice Turkish breakfast in Ephesus and also met interesting people during the train journey. Attaching some of the pictures from Ephesus and the train journey.
Apart from Ephesus, I explored the city by walking around random streets, went to different bars and enjoyed running along the Mediterranean.
From Izmir, I flew to Antalya, a resort city in the Mediterranean. It lies in the south and apparently it is one of the top 10 visited cities in the world. We had a booking in a resort near LARA area "Kervansaray Lara Convention Centre, Lara Beach". The resort had everything - bars, nightclubs, swimming pool, spa, water park and a private beach.
After exploring the resort, I went on to explore the city and its history. I started with Kaleici, Antalya's old town. The whole city was confined within the walls and had history dating from Romans and Byzantine dynasties to the Ottomans and the modern Turkish era. The architecture was amazing with most of the buildings covered by red roofs. The old city is set up exactly near the Mediterranean coast. We also went to the beautiful Duden waterfall which was 4 miles from the old city along the coast. I am attaching few of the pictures from the old city and waterfall.
From Antalya, I took a bus on December 28 and reached Cappadocia on the morning of 29th. Well, Cappadocia has one of the most amazing landscapes I have ever seen. The city is a fairy tale land full of caves which was formed out of volcanic eruptions and there are various cave cafes, restaurants and hotels. I stayed in a cave hostel "Hostel Terra Vista". It was winter ( -14 degree Celcius ) and therefore it used to snow thus making it even more beautiful. I was just enjoying the landscape sitting at picturesque cafes and sipping Turkish tea throughput my time there. Talking about the touristy places, I went to the Goreme museum to see the ruins and culture of the people who used to stay in the past. The sunset point has an amazing view which one cannot miss while on a trip to Turkey.
I flew to Istanbul on 30th night to celebrate my New Years. I booked Bahaus Guesthouse hostel in Sultanahmet, Istanbul's historical area which lies on the European side of the city. On 31st morning, I just walked around the city towards the iconic Bosphorous bridge that lies between the 2 continents - Asia and Europe. I just wanted to have a flavour of the city as we had to celebrate New Years in the evening. Bosphorous is very famous to have baked potatoes and waffles.
At the hostel, I met a lot of people from various countries and it was fun talking to diverse people before the New Year party. Along with some guys from the hostel, we planned to drink in a bar followed by the fireworks at the Bosphorous. We went to a bar in Taksim, Istanbul's most famous party area. Taksim was so crowded that we could barely walk. Finally I reached the bar ( along with some Britons and friends from the hostel )and the owner was delighted with the fact that I was from India. Being a SRK fan, he started playing 90s songs. The owner used to like India and he started playing 90s SRK songs just for me. It was amazing listening to the Bollywood tunes in Istanbul that too on a New year's eve. At 11 when we weren't getting any taxi to the Bosphorous, we ended up having one of our best New years by taking a night New year party cruise. The cruise was packed with drunk people who were living their last few moments of 2018. I sailed towards the Bosphorous and we could see fireworks all around at both the continents.
Well, after an amazing New Year's eve and a day of rest, I started exploring Istanbul. I took a free city tour which starts at Sultanahmet to have a flavour of Ottoman and Turkish history. I went to the grand Hagia Sophia museum which had been a church duing the Byzantine dynasty as well as a mosque during the Ottoman time. It is one of the most amazing museums I have been too. I fell in love with the Chandeliers. The square outside the Hagia sophia is one of the richest square in the world in terms of history. It has the Blue mosque and the Ottomans palace, the palace from where the Ottomans controlled both their eastern ( current Middle East ) and western regions.
The most important thing about travelling in Turkey which I am yet to mention is about the Turkish food and the bazaars. I walked along the Grand Bazaar, the largest and the oldest bazaar in the world which had more than 4000 stores selling variety of things. Everyone should try Turkish delight here but for shopping the Spice bazaar is cheaper and is preferred by the locals. I tried Kebabs and Shawarma at about multiple restaurants. Any Indian won't feel away from home when it comes to food. Turkey is apparently the food capital of Europe. It is home to both Arabic and Mediterranean cruisine.
Flights : Mumbai Istanbul Mumbai ( 28000 INR )
Istanbul - Izmir, Izmir - Antaya, Cappadocia - Istanbul ( 2500 INR )
Bus from Antalya - Cappadocia ( 700 INR )
Turkey visa ( 5500 INR )
Hostels at Izmir, Cappadocia and Istanbul ( 7200 INR )
Antalya hotel ( early bird 7000 INR )
Public transport and taxi - ( 3000 INR )
Food, drinks and museums ( 23000 INR )
Total - 76990 INR
* I had unlimited food and drinks for 3 nights in Antalya
*Breakfast is included at many hostels
* entry to Hagia sophia, Goreme museum etc
*hostel bookings - hostelworld
*Walking most of the times, public transport
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