Monday, 22 February 2021

More Favourite Sites Garnered from our Travels


Istanbul, once the capital of the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires straddles the Bosporus strait, with one foot in Europe the other in Asia. It deserves at least a five day stay in order to fully immerse yourself in its history, and see all of its exquisite architectural wonders. A must visit is to the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world. It covers 61 streets, and includes 4,000 shops and stalls. Choose yourself a beautiful handmade leather bag, smell the heady scents from the mountains of spices, find yourself a hand loomed colourful kilim, or some exotic food memento to take home. Last but not least visit the dramatic underground Basilica Cistern, mysterious, unexpected, and fascinating.  Built in 532AD during the reign of Byzantine emperor Justinian 1, the cistern supplied water to the city. Yerebatan Sarayi, the Sunken Palace should not be missed.   

There are 18 World Heritage Sites in Turkey which includes some of the 28 archaeological sites from antiquity. Turkey, once the cradle of early Christianity hosts hundreds of ancient churches together with some of the most beautiful mosques to be found anywhere. It is a mystical country with some surreal landscapes all of which offer the visitor a veritable feast for the eye.  

Pamukkale - It looks like winter but this is mid-summer. Travertine 
terraced basins straddle the plateau, and run down the hillsides of 
Pamukkale. Created over more than two millennia the hot mineral 
cascades transform calcium carbonate into travertine.
The fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are the result of thousands of years of natural weathering. Millions of years ago, massive volcanoes erupted in the region, depositing huge volumes of ash, and covering the entire landscape for thousands of miles. The hardened ash is called Tuff which over the centuries has been carved into houses, and even churches. The hotel we stayed in was carved out of Tuff - it was a magical experience. 
click onto the yellow highlights if you would like to know more
Discover the ancient cities of Myra and Simena here.
(Myra now renamed Demre) is where the relics of St. Nicholas were purloined and taken to Bari.
The kingdom of  Lydia

Konya - the cradle of Sufism and Whirling Dervishes 
World renown Ephesus
This is just a token glimpse of some of the many treasures
to be seen in Turkey.