The start of a new year begins a whole new crazy adventure, with fresh goals, dreams and desires. These may perhaps include never being late for a TPS class, limiting oneself to dessert only once a day, or traveling to exotic places. And what place in the world is more exotic than Turkey!
Turkey is stuffed with breathtaking beaches bordering its coasts, laced with magnificent ruins from Ancient History empires, and entwined in a beautiful symphony of culture and architectural buildings. If ever visiting Turkey, here are some of the gems one simply has to see.
Fethiye is the ultimate destination if a person is looking for strips of white sand trimmed by cool turquoise water. Being a port city in South Western Turkey, Fethiye boasts a wide variety of activities for visitors, five star hotels with a view that looks like it came from a movie, eight hour boat tours stopping at about five swimming spots each more magnificent than the one before, and feasting at whimsical restaurants on the beach. Another example is The Umbrella Street. This is a cobblestone walkway bordered by quaint stores that all lie beneath a ceiling of vibrantly colored umbrellas. So if it ever rains, run to that street.
From above, Cappadocia resembles a garden of jumbo mushrooms, but lying beneath the capsule of eroded stone are homes, over six hundred churches, and many hiding places carved out of the soft volcanic rock. Containing several underground cities, Cappadocia dates back to Medieval times when Christians fled from persecution and made their homes in these rocks. Cappadocia, which is in central Turkey, is also known for its hundreds of colorful air balloons that light up the sky at sunrise, allowing tourists to attain a bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape below.
The Bosphorus is a thirty-two kilometer long channel in Istanbul, connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, as well as linking the European side with the Asian side of Istanbul. Its navy waters are inhabited by many merchandise ships from around the world as well as little ferries that puff along between its two sides. The banks housing some of the seventeen million people living in Istanbul, also contain countless touristic destinations such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Pazar, which truly is “grand.” The Grand Pazar is the haven of Turkish souvenirs, thus being a dream for a shopper and a nightmare for people who hate spending.
Mount Ararat and Lake Van are close neighbors and both dazzling destinations in Eastern Turkey. Mount Ararat, having a hat composed of snow, is actually a dormant volcano and the highest mountain in Turkey. Interestingly, it is also traditionally known as the mountain on which Noah’s Ark rested. As for Lake Van, no it isn’t a lake made of vans, but rather the site of several water sports, sailing, and inshore powerboat events. It is the largest lake in Turkey and rarely freezes during the cold winter months because of its high salinity.
Turkey may be best known for the city of Ephesus. Originally built for the god Artemis, this Ancient Greek city was later invaded and occupied by the Roman Empire. Its significance may be linked to the fact that it is one of the seven churches from the book of Revelation and has an Epistle written to its church. It was visited by Paul on his missionary journeys, and because the Gospel of John may have been written within its borders. Not to mention, it is also one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Furthermore, tourists are able to walk down the ruins of its winding streets and see the Library of Celcus, enter the infamous theater that roared with 25, 000 people many years ago, and even sit on the marble toilets in the public bathrooms and take a picture.
These are only but a taste, a mere spoonful of all the beautiful places in Turkey, but visit these places and a person will most definitely come back with a heart filled with wonder, eyes gleaming with fascination, and a billion pictures to tell the story, the story of a new adventure.