Stunning. The kind of trip that leave you speechless everyday.
Turkey has always been with one foot in the West and one in the East. This land in between tells stories to the traveler through the Greek and Roman ruins, the Mosques that proliferate everywhere, in the rich and welcoming rural side.
The people have amazing stories: there is the barman who lived in Berlin for twenty years and retired in his homeland, the young guy waiting for the lucky girl who will marry him after he came back from London, “a city where you end up forgetting about values and family” he says. The ferryman who leaves in an inaccessible bay and feels relived every night looking at the sky from his hut. The couple who throw water on your car to wish you a safe travel and that you come back.
I will list some incredible things you can find along the way and I am sure I have seen just some out of millions.
Antalya, the big city and a crossroads
Izmir, young and vibrant
– Me and my friend, we have done a very complicated trip in about 10 days, struggling a bit with the heat and the fact that we did not plan the trip in advance. As there is so much to do it is worth to plan a bit ahead
– I have been told also by turkish friends to be careful about robbers and bad people in general. I myself haven’t had any accident. I think common sense plays a role here. Not traveling over night from one place to the other, keep and eye of things on the beach, trust whom inspires the good such as families or hotel owners. Actually I have received a lot of attentions by random people that just wanted to help and to be welcoming.
– About cultural borders, I have to admit I have felt observed a lot because of my bikini or shorts. I guess it is fair as I guess for many families I must have seemed like an outsider. However, nobody ever told me I do not wear proper clothes or complained about my look.
– When you travel in small villages do not expect a very high quality of hotels and pensions. Enjoy the hospitality and the food delicacies more than the class of accommodation.
About turkish delights
There is no doubt about how rich, genuine and delicious the turkish cuisine is.
Kebap is good but in reality the meat as well as the vegetarian offer are rich and various. Here is a selection of things I particularly liked.
Although the traditional breakfast features: tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, olives and bread, there are some good alternatives, rich with proteins and vitamines, like eggs with a delicious sauce of tomatoes, pepper and onions.
Acma, Borek and Sesame rings
Filled with spinaches and feta, or potatoes, or minced meat they are the perfect way to start the day or to break the hunger.
On a wooden board women roll out the dough until obtaining a thin circle. Once they have filled it with minced meat or goat cheese, they cook it on a convex iron board on real fire. Sometimes they add some spicky flakes. Absolutely delicious. On the main roads many small restaurants offer hand made Gözleme. A light yet tasty break while travelling.
The “equivalent” of appetizers or tapas, they are a delight, featuring aubergines, meatballs, vegetable stews, rice in wine leaves.
All along the coast fish is freshly provided by local fishermen and often gets just grilled and served.
Also known as Turkish Piza, it comes with minced meat or mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese. The crust is crunchy and reminds of bread dough. Best when coming fresh from wood-fired oven.