Turkey may be a medium-sized country. But for its 700,000+ square kilometers of land, the country sure punches above its weight on the diversity of its landscapes. My trip there was from over 2 years ago. While the exact progression of the journey is a bit fuzzy to me now, the places I visited are not that easy to forget.
The first highlight during my 9 day visit would have to be Pergamon. It is a very old city that dates back to the ancient Greek civilization. The ruins are typical of the cities from ancient Greece with theaters, baths and of course columns, columns and more columns!
Also stopped by Ephesus. Was particularly impressed with the Library of Celsus. Unfortunately, my camera’s battery went dead exactly at the point when I reached it and I wasn’t able to take a photo. If it’s any consolation, the picture below shows the dreaded Medusa.
A sight to behold, Pamukkale (below) consists of terraces made of travertine. The white-colored surface gives off an out-of-this-world feel. Too bad none of my pictures of Pamukkale could truly give it any justice. Oh, and visitors can bath in these hot springs terraces if they wish. The water there supposedly has some therapeutic qualities.
We also dropped by the curiosity which is only known as the “blue lake.” I don’t see any of the guidebooks ever mentioning it and I don’t even know if it has a proper name but it’s another awesome sight. It is so blue that it looks almost perfect.
But perhaps the weirdest landscapes I saw in Turkey were the fairy chimneys that spanned a huge area in Cappadocia. The rock formations were actually used as houses in ancient times, and some of them even contain churches inside. The area is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As can be expected from a designation like this, the place was likewise jampacked with tourists.
What it reminds me really is that of a smurf’s house. Don’t you agree?
Turkey is an easy enough place to get to. Flights originating in Asia usually land at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. There are flights from Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore and Jakarta. Turkish Airlines is also interested in flying to Manila but that is still in the pipeline.