Well, I’ve been back from Turkey for two weeks now and I haven’t settled back to real life yet. I have, however, spent hours and hours (seriously I’m not kidding — probably about 30 hours in total if not more) pouring over maps and trying to figure out how and where to next. Who even feeds my kids when I slip into this kind of obsessive state?
I’m also kind of tempted to organize a whole tour for my family and friends (with the help of Neon Tours of course because they were awesome!) because I am certainly of the opinion that everyone should just drop whatever it is that they are doing and go to Turkey right now.
I have wanted to go to Turkey for a long time, so I did expect to love it. But I have to admit that our trip far exceeded my expectations. The existence of Turkey in all it’s exquisite beauty now sits in my soul like a comforting balm. What an incredible place. How lucky we are as humans that it exists.
Here are some of the reasons that I think you should go to Turkey, and why I hope to be able to go back there one day…
1.) The People
The citizens of any particular space always tend to play a big role in my love for that space, and the people of Turkey are no exception. I could not help but be impressed with the consistent helpfulness that we encountered. From our tour guide to the hotel staff at the various places that we stayed at. They certainly rally together to make sure that you feel welcome and taken care of. And apart from being helpful? My goodness but Turkish people are beautiful. How do they do that? How are so many of them just so lovely to look at?
2.) The Climate
So probably I should stay in Turkey for a year before I lament the wonders of the weather, but we had such lovely weather that I would be remiss not to mention it. So, definitely the end of May is lovely – not too hot or too cold. But, apart from that, climate controlled air conditioning pretty much keeps you comfortable regardless of what the weather is doing outside. For people like me who fall in a heap when it’s too hot or too cold it’s a great bonus.
3.) The Oldness
The best thing about Turkey is that everything is so old. And it seems like a silly observation perhaps, but this is a place where so much history has taken place, and it’s all just out there waiting for you to be overwhelmed by it all. There is something incredible about ambling through the ruins of Ephesus, stopping periodically to tickle the chin of one of the resident kitties. There is so much to be felt while visiting Saint Mary’s House. There’s so much to think about when you consider the wars fought at Gallipoli.
4.) The Lira
The Turkish Lira is affordable to the average South African, and this is always a huge consideration for us, as I imagine it would be for you as well.
5.) The Food
Guys: so much cheese. All kinds of cheese. And Nutella-type chocolate spread is served in large bowls with breakfast. Every possible kind of olive you could imagine. Breads galore. And so much fruit. Incredible.
6.) The Variety
The best thing about Turkey is of course that it is filled with such a variety of beautiful things to experience, and variety can be quite a draw point when travelling. I have a couple of travel friends who complain about being sick of temples, for example. This doesn’t happen to me, but I get that some folks might need a bit more. So Turkey is kind of perfect for that. Yes, there are palaces and temples, and beautiful ones at that, but there are also the incredible calcium deposits at Pamukkale. There are hot air balloon rides over the incomparable landscapes of Cappodoccia. There are the incredible beaches, boat rides on the Bosphorus, Turkish Baths, ruins, incredible architecture, museums….the list is a long one.