Turkey trip routes

Mike's Turkey Travel Story

LOVE your blog!

A U.S. Citizen I first visited Turkey after multiple deaths in the family found me searching for a far-away holiday.  The experience with the people, the land and the food was so exceptional that I've returned at least once each year for extended holidays in every area of the country.

Bodrum city on the peninsula of the same name was my first destination and remains my favorite place for fun in the sun, relaxation, nightlife and boat excursions on chartered gulets.  

bodrum blue tour

      The stunningly blue waters of the Turkish Aegean and Mediterranean coasts never fail to exhilarate me.

bodrum castle view

      Gulets arriving for the annual Bodrum Regatta as seen from Bodrum Castle

bodrum harbor
 Bodrum Harbor viewed from the site of the ancient watchtower

      A two-day, one night commercial tour to Ephesus and Pamukkale during this first holiday demonstrated   not only the ancient history but the amazing geographic diversity of Turkey.  I remember commenting that the landscapes we saw between Pamukkale and Bodrum were akin to crossing the entire United States.

pamukkale hierapolis
  Ruins and small aqueducts at Pamukkale 

Mountains in the Southwest

Since that first visit I've enjoyed touring privately throughout the country.  My first impression that the Turkish people are generally wonderful has been confirmed everywhere we stay.  An only child I am proud to have a Turk as the closest thing I can imagine to a brother as well as others who count among my best ever friends.  A welcome guest in numerous Turkish homes where we are treated as family we have also hosted Turks in our southeast Missouri home and acted as guides for them in U.S. Cities and holiday destinations.  No matter where in Turkey we travel the people prove to be the most hospitable, intriguing and intuitive in my world travels.  Obey the Golden Rule and you will never have a problem in Turkey.

Perhaps the first thing I noticed about the country is the extraordinary food.  Simple and delicious Turkish food is rich in the finest produce you will find anywhere in the world.  The bread is truly the best, the lamb is to die for, the soups are exquisite and the lightly sweet desserts the stuff of dreams.  While you can find every Turkish dish in İstanbul nearly every region has a specialty that is genuinely amazing.  Among the fabulous specialties I have enjoyed are liver in Edirne, künefe in Hatay, cheese (making the best pizza) in Kars, stews cooked in a clay pot that you literally break open before eating in Cappadocia, pistachio baklava in Gaziantep, beans and stuffed peppers in Doğubayazıt, perfect char grill in Ayder, Maraş dorduma (ice cream) and the best boiled potatoes of my life when stranded and staying with the sole inhabitants (cattle ranchers) of a bombed out village in the mountains high above Kağızman.
Our hosts when stranded in the high mountains of the Northeast

The historian part of me was amazed to find that Turkey is quite arguably the home of human civilization with both ruins and buildings from a huge number of cultures.  The Roman ruins are more common and at times better than you will find anywhere.

aspendos ,Antalya
Aspendos--quite arguably the best preserved Roman Theater in the world

first photo One of two functioning ancient fountains at Sagalassos
second photo Temple of Zeus at Aizanoi.  The most intact and original Roman temple I have seen.  

zeus temple
The unique basement below the Temple of Zeus at Aizanoi
There is far more I would like to contribute to your blog but I will wait for your request.

Mike Thies
Cape Girardeau, Missouri, USA

Thanks for that good article dear Mike.I hope that when you come to Turkey and Bursa region we can eat Iskender Kebab or Köfte together and my blog always open for your good articles.

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