Thursday, December 18, 2014

4 Days Summer Solo Escapade in Turkey

Selcuk - Pamukkale - Cappadocia - Istanbul tour
July 07 to July 10, 2014

"I'm one of these people that if I have a nice holiday - like I have had in Turkey repeatedly - I go back a lot." - Freema Agyeman

My 36th country to visit, 32nd solo backpacking trip, 3rd country to visit in Euro-Asia, and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure.

Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. The English name Turkey first appeared in the late 14th century, and is derived from Medieval Latin Turchia. The Ottoman Empire was sometimes referred as the Turkish Empire among its contemporaries.

Amphitheater inside Ephesus

Amphitheater inside Heirapolis

Amphitheater inside Aphrodisias

This another race against time, very short backpacking researched in somehow detailed manner has a compressed itinerary designed as follows: 

July 07 Monday: Istanbul Arrival, Selcuk morning tour and train to Pamukkale
July 08 Tuesday:
Pamukkale day-tour and a side trip to Aphrodisias (Travertine, Heirapolis, Paragliding)
July 09 Wednesday:
Cappadocia day tour (Balloon flight, Goreme, Kaymakli)
July 10 Thursday: Istanbul city short tour (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern)

Basic Words to Remember;
hello - merhaba;   thank you - teşekkür ederim;   I love you - seni seviyorum;   goodbye - elveda!
yes/no - evet / hayır;   sorry - üzgünüm;   please - lütfen;   excuse me - aafedersiniz!
toilet - tuvalet;   train station - tren istasyonu;   airport - havaalanı

timezone - +0200H UTC;   capital - Ankara;   language - Turkish
currency - lira 2.1 TRY = 1 USD
visa - Filipinos can apply e-visa in Turkey (Not all countries are eligible to apply)
requirements: return ticket, hotel accommodation & pocket money (very relax immigration)

itinerary mapping from the Golden Triangle Tour of Turkey (Istanbul-Selcuk-Pamukkale-Cappadocia-Istanbul)

ruins of of Library of Celsus in Ephesus

Travertine terraces hot spring in Pamukkale

parachute gliding high above Pamukkale

Interesting Facts about Turkey: 
1. The famous Trojan Wars took place in Western Turkey, around the site where the Trojan horse rests today.
2. Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi) in Eastern Turkey.
3. Turks introduced coffee to Europe and Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips.
4. Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents.
5. The Seven Churches of Apocalypse are all situated in the Aegean region of Anatolia; Ephesus, Smyrna (Izmir), Pergamum, Thyatira (Nazilli), Sardis, Philadelphia (Alasehir) and Laodicea.
6. The first church dedicated to Virgin Mary is in Ephesus.
7. The Turkish alphabet doesn't include X or Q, but has other letters such as the dotless "i".
8. Turkey's Istanbul tunnel is the world's second oldest underground railway in 1875.

balloon flight ride high above Cappadocia

Goreme's Fairy Valley in Cappadocia

Hagia Sophia at night in Istanbul

Blue Mosque by day in Istanbul

Arriving from Sabiha Gökçen (Istanbul) International Airport;
As of 15th of April 2014, Nationals of the Philippines holding passport with a valid Schengen or OECD member's visa may get their one month period single entry e-Visas via the website up to 90 days within six months, starting from the first entry. As for me, I entered Turkey via Sabiha Gökçen Airport and exited via Ataturk Airport with a very relax encounter on their Passport Control Officers. I just handed-over the hard-copy print-out of e-visa and stamped together with my passport with no any single query relayed.

Anyways, I divided this wonderful journey into different set of posts to be more specific on its content;


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