Turkey was always on the list of places we wanted to visit as part of our trip, but neither of us could explain why. No place in particular called us there, it was more a feeling that it was a place we were meant to go.
When the time was right, we flew into Sabiha Gökçen airport on a one-way ticket, not having a clue what to expect or how long we’d be in the country.
In the end we spent 60 days in Turkey and we could have stayed longer. For the first time since we left Australia, there were tears when it was time to leave. But there is still so much more to explore – so we will be back!
Our trip went something like this.
During our time in the country we spent a total of 4 weeks in Istanbul. A beautiful city of such contradictions your head spins to take it all in. But above all, it’s a city rich in culture, history and beauty.
We loved riding the ferries across the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus for the beautiful views across the water.
We loved the beautiful Turkish women with their colourful clothes and the Turkish men with their well-groomed moustaches. But our favourite Istanbul inhabitants were the cats!
Wanting to experience more of the traditional areas of Turkey than the more heavily-visited west coast of the country, we hired a car and headed east. First stop was the super-cute Ottoman town of Safranbolu.
From there we drove along (almost) the entire Black Sea Coast, from Amasra to Rize.
We then headed into the Kaçkar mountains to isolated Barhal for some hiking.
From Lake Van we headed across into exotic and dusty south-east Anatolia with stops in Mardin, Sanliurfa, Nemrut and Gaziantep. The people, food and experiences we had in these places in particular we’ll never forgot. The definite highlight of our trip.
Our final stop was Ankara, a place that surprised us.
We had an amazing journey and we hope through our upcoming posts we can show you how much we loved Turkey, and do justice to the experiences we shared in this complex and welcoming country. It’s a journey we’ll never forget. We will be back.
p.s. We saw this good looking man EVERYWHERE in Turkey. And I mean everywhere. In homes, in shops, on buildings, in squares, on flags and in statue. So it seemed wrong to not introduce him in our introduction.
Meet Mustafa Kemal Atatürk – the modern father of Turkey. We talk more about him here. He was a very interesting man. This was one of my favourite Atatürk photos which we named ‘serious Atatürk’.