Turkey

Turkey – Istanbul

The Blue Mosque by night.

The Blue Mosque by night.

Istanbul was almost like a milestone for us as we had been looking forward to it for so long. It was also to be our gateway back into Europe after spending so many months traipsing across Central Asia.
We had learned that there are 6.5 million cars registered in Istanbul alone. This became apparent on our approach with a maze of freeway systems with very confusing spaghetti like on/off ramps. One wrong turn and you could end up anywhere. Naturally we messed one up before even hitting the outskirts which put us on a freeway in the opposite direction without a single exit for 47km. Buy the time we had finished our 100km detour we were finally headed in the right direction. Continue reading

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Turkey – Pamukkale to Efes

The "cotton castles" or Pamukkale in Turkish

The “cotton castles” or Pamukkale in Turkish

Pamukkale meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a surreal formation of terraces created by the carbonated minerals left behind from flowing water. I watched a documentary about geology years back and the host spent some time here. I was stunned by the beauty and thought to myself, I’ve gotta go there one day.
The Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was built above the cotton castle and has been very well reconstructed around some beautiful gardens. Continue reading

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Mediterranean Turkey

Scuba diving in Fethiye

Scuba diving in Fethiye

So we were on our way to Mediterranean Turkey and the Aegean Sea. This area is certainly one of the Tourist hotspots, especially for the English who have all but taken over the area of Oludeniz from the national ads for it sent out back as far as the seventies.
We had decided to go and try our luck at some scuba diving off the coastline of Fethiye’ and on the way there were a whole bunch of ancient ruins to be seen. Continue reading

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Turkey – Central Anatolia and Cappadocia

Mount Nemrut -our last Eastern Anatolian sight before heading West

Mount Nemrut -our last Eastern Anatolian sight before heading West

We continued our journey West from Lake Van to Mount Nemrut, about 350km away. We took a slightly North Western route which avoided the regions directly bordering Syria. At the time of doing this route we had just heard in the news that fighting for control of Kobane, a Syrian town sat just before the Turk border had erupted. The Turkish were being chastised for their ‘inaction’ and refusal to send in troops. So we decided to keep safely away from any potential dangers. Continue reading

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Turkey – Eastern Anatolia

Looking out over Lake Van

Looking out over Lake Van

We left Georgia via the seaside town of Batumi and headed straight for the industrial town of Hopa, also on the shorefront. The border crossing was a doddle (Just an E-Visa required). Priority numero one was to fix our crippled roof cage. All that held the cage on to the car were two ratchet straps anchoring it down; and two tyre inner tubes keeping the cage apart from the roof evenly.
Hopa was luckily very industrial so Jerome and I pulled up at a random construction yard on the outskirts of town and using Google Translate we asked if they knew of any welders in town. One of the guys jumped straight into his car and led us to the mechanics strip about 4 km away. He found us a welder within seconds and left us to it. Continue reading

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