Trip Start Mar 28, 2014
17Trip End Apr 13, 2014
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We drove over 1800 miles in a 13 day period and saw some amazing sights. The Roman ruins in Turkey are considered to be the best in the world. I would agree.
We had no idea of how much Christianity flourished in Turkey in ancient times and how many important events took place there.
The people are cordial and friendly
There was absolutely NO concern about safely. Sadly the future tour bookings are down considerably as people are wary of coming. They should NOT be.
Food was excellent and better than I expected. A lot of vegetables (especially eggplant) but plenty of meat choices (except pork because it is a Muslim country). Fresh fish is readily available; we even had salmon that was as good as we get in Seattle. The country has a very healthy Mediterranean style diet.
Although considered a Muslim country, it is certainly a liberal one. We were able to find alcoholic drinks where ever we went. Raki is their national alcoholic drink. It is anise based and a tastes like Greek ouzo. I am not fond of it.
People in the large cities are Muslims by birth, but are liberal in their interpretation of the religion. The real conservative Muslims are in rural areas and in the eastern part of the country
Their first president, Ataturk, was certainly a visionary. It is amazing what he did in the early 1920s to make Turkey the modern successful country that it is. He changed the entire country from speaking Arabic to speaking Latin, gave equal rights to women and encouraged education.
Turkey is important to the world as a moderate Muslim country. Unfortunately they are surrounded by more radical Islamic countries. We need to hope they continue to be successful.
We had FABULOUS weather and only ran into rain showers for short times on two occasions. Temperatures were in the low 60s most of the time. It was a perfect time to visit the country. The national flower, the tulip, was blooming everywhere. There were absolutely no insects!
Although it is still the off-season we were surprised at the crowds, especially in Istanbul. Of course it is a big city so maybe that should be expected, especially on a weekend.
Turkey is a fruit producing country and we had delicious sweet oranges, pomegranates and strawberries. Unfortunately we are too early for peaches and apples. A popular roadside treat is freshly squeezed orange or pomegranate juice. We had the latter several times; it is not as tart as I feared.
You like Turkish delight? It is everywhere; you can not get away from it. Same story for pistachios, cashews, walnuts and spices. It is a snackers paradise.
Turks drink tea, tea and more tea. Turkish coffee, if consumed, is only served after dinner. We did see a few Starbucks but not many.
One day we did cheat and grabbed a lunch at Mcdonalds to see if it was different. Some of us had a McTurkco, which was a hamburger served in a folded pita-like flatbread.
So all in all it was a great trip. We are back at home on Miller Bay and getting back to our other lives.
And starting to plan for our next adventure........