2nd Solo Trip – Turkey (Travel Info)

Places Visited and Things Done (In no particular order):

***Istanbul (June 9th-12th )
– Sultan Ahmed Mosque
– Sultanahmet Park
– Hagia Sophia
– Topkapi Palace
– Taksim Square
– Galata tower
– St. Anthony of Padua (Sant/Antonio di Padova); biggest Catholic church in Turkey
– Bosphorus bridge & tour 

I absolutely LOVE Turkey! It’s so different yet so modern! Did you know that Istanbul is the world’s only city spanning 2 continents and only 3% of Turkey is in Europe?! How cool is that *-* I love the people, the culture and just the overall vibe here. As well, their history is so rich and have cultural connections to ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empire. What I also love about Istanbul is that its spacious because there are a lotttt of people! Their night life is pretty popping and Taksim square is where its at at night. Lots of restaurants, clubs and bars! 

Hostel #1: Istanbul Hostel 
Loved where the hostel was located which at Sultanhmet square. The hostel was a short walk from Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Sultanahmet Park, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace! Washrooms were clean except one time I was faced by a ginormous bug 😦 Staff are very very but half knew minimal English but really tried to make it work with you LOL 

What I’ve Realized/Learnt and More: 
1.  “The Turkish Constitution provides for freedom of religion and conscience” I was expecting more cultural wear
2. Just like in Greece, every restaurant has a menu out and usually a waiter near it to promote the restaurant
3. Of all European countries, the guys in Turkey are very outspoken and friendly. They will try to call you out if you’re a girl but this is something I’m used to because of where I live. However, you have to be careful, guys and girls, for super friendly Turkish people as some of these are a part of scams.

**TIP: If you are travelling around Istanbul by tram a lot, invest in a bus pass which is 10 liras (approx. $5 CAD). It is reloadable and makes travelling by tran a lot cheaper. WITH the pass, one way tram ride is around 1-2 liras. WITHOUT the pass, one way tram ride is around 4 liras

***Cappadocia (June 13th-14th )
– Goreme sunset viewpoint
– Hot air balloon ride
– Cappadocia North (red) Tour; Rose Valley, Open Air museum, Monks valley (Pasabag), Cavusin, Avanos (traditional pottery workshop), Uchisar castle, Devrent valley

Cappadocia was a great change and the perfect change from Istanbul! Cappadocia’s landscape is more natural and much more captivating. The rock formations and all the caves are so fascinating to see! Cappadocia was everything I expected and more. I can definitely see myself coming back and staying longer just to hike around! The hot air balloon was one of the biggest hightlight of my ENTIRE trip and I loved every second of it! I was super scared at first because I thought it would be a bit windy and that the balloon would sway but it was sooooo smooth! It was a bit cloudy when I went but I am VERY happy it was not cancelled. 

Hostel #2: Nirvana Cave Hotel (I don’t think there are any hostels that are actually called hostels)
I loved this cave hostel! It was cute and very comfortable to sleep in! Because I booked a packaged tour for Cappadocia and Pamukkale, there isn’t much I can say about convenience. The staff is great and the hostel is located close by the town and sunset viewpoint.

What I’ve Realized/Learnt and More: 
1.  Aside from the beautiful landscape the vibe was the same

***Denzili (city); Pamukkale (June 15hth)
– Karahyit Hot Springs aka Red Water Springs
– Hierapolis
– Pamukkale!!!!
– Stone/Rock demonstration

A friend recommended to visit Pamukkale and when I saw pictures I was amazed! It’s also known as the Cotton Castle and it I couldn’t agree with more! It really does look like how it does in pictures BUT not as white and blue. Pamukkale is a big area and not all areas have running water to give that white stone and clear blue water look. Only certain areas do and the water eventually rotates to different areas. This is to help maintain the natural beauty and condition of the thermal pools. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. I really really enjoyed my time here because it looked absolutely incredible. It’s always awesome to be able to get into the scenery. The water is very nice and there are lots of areas to take good pictures ^-^ Outside of Pamukkale, I don’t think there was much to do. Denzili is quite quiet and attracts a lot of Turkish people because of the hot springs that provides healing benefits. 

Hotel #3: I stayed in a hotel (name I do not remember) this time due to the tour package that I booked. It was super lovely to end off my European trip with some peace and quiet and a bit of luxury ^-^

What I’ve Realized/Learnt and More: 
1.  Aside from the natural hot springs the vibe was the same

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