A Travellerspoint blog

Travels in Turkey.

Our home for four and a half years.

This is another page I always meant to get round to but never did. We lived in Turkey for four and a half years: four years in Istanbul and half a year in Isparta. While living there, we travelled to other areas now and again for holidays. I already put the places we went to from Isparta on my Isparta page. On this page I'll put some places we visited from Istanbul.

One very short trip we used to do was to take a ferry from Kartal to Yalova which had a pleasant beach. From there we would travel to a little village called Termal. This village had thermal springs hense its name. The countryside around the village was excellent for hiking.

Yalova.

Yalova.

Termal's hot springs.

Termal's hot springs.

Termal's hot springs.

Termal's hot springs.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

Termal.

From Yalova we sometimes went to Iznik which has ancient remains. It is famous for its beautiful pottery. Sometimes we would go to Bursa which is a city below the mountain of Uludag. Uludag is 2500 feet high. Bursa has several attractive mosques, such as the Ulu Cami or Great Mosque dating from the fourteenth century and Yesil Cami or Green Mosque.

Main square, Bursa.

Main square, Bursa.

Our first attempt at going further afield was to take the train from Istanbul to Denizli and then catch a minibus to Pamukkale. Pamukkale means cotton castle and it is famous for its beautiful white terraces made from limestone deposits from the thermal springs in this area. Pamukkale is famous world wide. In the same area you can find Hierapolis, an ancient Roman spa city founded around 190 B.C. The ancient remains here include a theatre and there is a swimming pool where you can swim above ancient columns which toppled over in an earthquake.

Pamukkale.

Pamukkale.

Pamukkale.

Pamukkale.

Pamukkale.

Pamukkale.

Another place we visited was Kusadasi. We went here twice. Once just the two of us and once with Peter's brother. Kusadasi is a resort with a lovely beach and a ruined Byzantine castle on an island. Kus is Turkish for bird and Ada is island, so the town's name means bird island. The island the castle is built on is shaped like a bird's head when viewed from the sea. It's a good base from which to visit the nearby remains at Ephesus (in Turkish Efes, like the beer) and Selcuk.

Kusadasi, island and castle.

Kusadasi, island and castle.

Turkey is very rich in ancient remains. One of its most famous is Ephesus. In the past this was a port city and one of the most important centres of trade in the Mediterranean region.

According to legend an Ionian prince called Androclos visited the oracle in Delphi and asked for advice on where to found a new settlement. The oracle said a boar and a fish would guide him to the right place. Later when he was travelling, Androclos caught some fish and fried them over an open fire. A spark shot out and set a nearby bush on fire. This disturbed a wild boar which came racing out of the bushes. Androclos had found the site for his settlement and called it Ephesus.

Ephesus was at one time the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. Nowadays there is very little left of it. The remains around this ancient temple are located at Selcuk next to Ephesus.

Nowadays Ephesus is home to some extremely impressive Roman remains: such as an enormous amphitheater, the Library of Celsus and an agora or marketplace.

Ephesus has many links with Christianity. Saint Paul preached against the worship of Artemis in the theatre at Ephesus and provoked a riot. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is thought to have spent her last years here together with Saint John.

Temple of Artemis.

Temple of Artemis.

Selcuk.

Selcuk.

Selcuk.

Selcuk.

Selcuk.

Selcuk.

Selcuk

Selcuk

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Ephesus.

Another great trip was when I was teaching at Istanbul Teknik University and one of my classes invited me and their main class teacher to go on holiday with them. They chose to go to Behramkale which the Greeks used to call Assos. This is a resort on the Aegean Sea which also has ancient remains. During this holiday we also visited Troy and Canakkale, though we did not go to the war memorials, only the town to buy food, as we cooked our own food all holiday. Peter did not teach this class but as spouses were allowed he came with me, too. It was actually very pleasant to see Turkey with Turks. There was little hassle and they knew what they were doing in all situations. Plus they were a really sweet and loveable class. I've been fortunate enough to have had some of those.

Actually, I probably shouldn't put real names in my blog but, despite having taught now for 32 years I still remember the girl in one of these photos for two reasons. One she was a very sweet natured and pleasant girl and very keen to learn, and two her name was Cigdem Atsiz which means Crocus Without a Horse. I remember her explaining to me that at one time Turks did not have surnames. They still always address each other by first name. I was always Miss Irene, never Mrs McKay there. Then Atatürk in an attempt to modernize the country and make it more western told everyone they must choose a surname and they chose them rapidly and at random. Thus names like big head and green shoes and within a horse became people's surnames overnight.

Behramkale.

Behramkale.

Behramkale.

Behramkale.

Behramkale.

Behramkale.

Behramkale.

Behramkale.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

Troy.

At one point we were looking to move out of Istanbul and we went for a job interview in Adana. We had to fly there for the interview and our hosts showed us around the area taking us to Kizkulesi and the caves of Heaven and Hell. They were very kind, but we ended up taking a job in Northern Cyprus instead.

Adana.

Adana.

Finally, one of the best places we visited was the amazing landscape of Cappadocia. We visited Urgup, Uchisar, Goreme and Avanos. Visiting Cappadocia is like visiting the moon. The landscape is other worldly with lots of weirdly formed rock formations such as the famous fairy chimneys. There are also secret underground cities where early Christians hid from hoards of Mongol invaders. Then there's the lovely pottery town of Avanos. Cappadocia is a pretty magnificent and unique place to visit

On the way to Cappadocia.

On the way to Cappadocia.

On the way to Cappadocia.

On the way to Cappadocia.

Coming out of an underground city.

Coming out of an underground city.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Cappadocia.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Shopping.

Posted by irenevt 05:45 Archived in Turkey

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Comments

Lovely familiar sights! I visited most of the places you mention here last summer. I loved it!

by Odiseya

Cappadocia looks fascinating. Crazy rock formations . . . some look a bit like Bryce Canyon National Park here in the USA, especially the last picture.

by Beausoleil

Hi Alexandra, Turkey certainly has a lot to see. Thank you for visiting. Hope all is good with you.

by irenevt

Hi Sally, Yes the rock formations in Cappadocia are pretty amazing. I'd love to go to the Bryce Canyon some day. I love these strange landscapes. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

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