Tasting The Turkish Tranquility

‘There are very few places in the world where you can leave your heart and depart from the land leaving it unexplored…only with the hope to visit again.’

The Turk land is an enigmatic territory of surprises. From its rich natural landscape to its breathtaking metropolis vibe to its mesmerizing beaches, there is always room to discover more. Turkey offers its tourist a platter of not just appetizing delicacies but also an experience to be cherished forever. Don’t we always like to visit a place where we experience a sense of connection?

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Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

The land is blessed with the Aegean Sea on one side and the mountains on the other. The beautiful beaches of Kusadasi, Antalya, and Izmir are good relaxing options; you can dive into the intense blue sea and get rejuvenated. Turkish land is full of exotic and sparkling beaches. I started my trip with the metropolis Istanbul and then visited Kusadasi followed by Cappadocia.

If you like the fast city vibe and want to explore the traditional bazaars of Turkey along with artistic mosques then Istanbul is a perfect fusion. The city has an urbanized Europe side with high-end hotels & designer brands and a traditional old Asia side with grand bazaar, spice market, blue mosque, and other ancient palaces. Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul connects Asia and Europe and a night sailing experience will take you a step closer in witnessing the city in its utmost allure. The groovy night atmosphere and clubs surely make Istanbul a happening place to shake your legs and burn those extra calories you gained after relishing scrumptious meals. Istanbul is rightly the best of both worlds- amalgamation of culture and sophistication. Shopping in Istanbul for me was like a child who just discovered her favorite candy and refuses to let go. Shoppers paradise!

My next stop was Kusadasi, the beaches and laid back life will leave you awestruck. Kusadasi reminded me of Greece; the sunny weather, seaside serenity, loads of cute little cafes, and friendly people. (Don’t get too attached to this place, you have to get back to your usual routine). Kusadasi has a nautical vibe; discovering this town in a peaceful state of mind by walking down the pavements, appreciating the architecture and pleasant breeze was a walk to remember. A short trip to Pamukkale and Ephesus is a mandatory drill.

Pamukkale(cotton castle), a UNESCO world heritage site is in Turkey, it has natural hot water springs and terraces of carbonate deposits with flowing water making it look like melting snow. The sight of this land carpeted in white is nothing less than a visual treat and an experience to be bookmarked in your memory diary. It’s dreamy and extremely romantic to walk through this white land. A walk to the top maybe a little exhausting, since the sun rays are harsh and hardly any shade to protect you. Tip: Loads of Sunblock, a pair of sunnies and preferably an umbrella or hat can help you. Do visit the Cleopatra pool in Pamukkale.

 

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Opening my eyes to this view from Charisma De Luxe Hotel, Kusadasi

 

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The snowy terrace of carbonate deposits at Pamukkale

Being a history enthusiast I couldn’t afford to miss the ancient ruins of Ephesus which is a great historical evidence of civilization and life in primeval Turkey. It has ruins of libraries, temples, tombs, basilicas, houses, markets, town hall, a large theatre and other remains from the 5th century. A lover of history can experience ultimate amusement at the sight of this seventh wonder of 550 B.C. If you think we have it tough it’s time to visit these archaeological marvels to know the roots. I could spend the whole day understanding its dynamics and getting a gist of the ancient world but well I’m a greedy traveler and I love covering every possible spot. (P.S I saw advertisements carved on stony pavements, isn’t it amazing to know that ads were popular back then?)

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Ancient library ruins

 

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You have to see it to believe the magnificence of Ephesus

Have you ever dreamt of taking a hot air balloon ride amidst natural rocky mountains and caves, exploring green pastures and brown hills with crystal clear skies? If not, then Cappadocia is the place to visit, a small town in Turkey known for hot air balloon rides, underground cities and natural rocky mountains with underground cities, churches, and museums; these things seem so astonishing but it is true. Cappadocia has an interesting history of religious wars and battle of survival, (the cities are 8-9 floors underground). I couldn’t breathe after a point due to dampness and poor lighting; people stayed in those conditions for years and created their own little city. Sometimes I feel we hardly know anything, there is so much to explore and be stunned about; Survival indeed leads to Smart Management. Every city has it’s untold and unique history, maybe that’s why people say a city should have a ‘soul’. The volcanoes in ancient times led to the rocky mountain formations of various shapes like mushrooms, birds, small huts etc. If you fancy stories and like to hear about mysteries then Cappadocia will take you on a joyride to destination ‘Enchantment’.

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Mysteries of underground cities 

 

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Natural rocky formation

 

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Up in the sky

The aroma of refreshing Turkish tea served in a traditional glassware is a traveler’s fantasy fluid. The world indulges in Turkish delights and exquisite baklavas which are mouthwatering Turk pastries; the texture, taste, and flavor will bowl your senses. ‘Dondurma ’ an age-old ice-cream of Turkey made from the roots of early purple orchid is another irresistible famous Turkish dessert, it’s available in many flavors and is worth a try (P.S I had two a day and still couldn’t resist the thought of another, ice-cream is my biggest guilty pleasure…). Turkish food cannot disappoint anyone; it has what it takes to be relished by all. Testi Kebab is one such Anatolian style dish, made in a clay pot which is slowly cooked to perfection; it is the most delicious traditional Turk food. With a concoction of conventional spices and a taste so divine, you can’t stop yourself from experiencing Turkish gastronomy over and over again.

This summer if you plan to take a vacation to refresh your senses and beat the heat, you can have an enamored experience in the Turk land. Make sure when you pack your bags you pack for the beaches, for the mountains, and for the cities. As they say, ‘You don’t need magic to disappear; all you need is a destination’ Turkey is that magical paradise awaiting your discovery.

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A small Turkish restaurant in a narrow lane of Istanbul

 

Best time to visit– June to September
Climates vary according to the diverse regional conditions
Cities to visit- Istanbul, Kusadasi, Cappadocia
Must visit sites/activities– Ephesus, Dip in the Aegean Sea, Pamukkale, Underground cities in Cappadocia, Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia, Grand Bazaar, Grand Mosque, Topkapi Castle, Bosphorus Cruise, Taksim Square, SHOPPING

 

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