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Often Overlooked and Dismissed by Americans

By Guest
Posts: 5

Posted on: March 14, 2010 at 5:55PM

Turkey (Turkiye) is the one country that I have visited more than once and remain compelled to visit again and again. It is a rich, enduring land that has formed the heart of two empires (the Holy Roman and the Ottoman) and while its glory days are long gone and its power has waned, it is a unique amalgam of cultures, religions and natural bounty. In ancient times it was the junction of East and West and remains so to this day being the only country that spans two continents and despite being almost completely a part of Asia is actively trying to join the European Union. The tourist infrastructure is highly (and sometimes overly) developed. While Islam is the overwhelming religion the country is officially secular with a highly tolerant population and religious "problems" no different than we experience in the U.S.A. Turkish people like the land itself are a TRUE melting pot of genetics and minerals. My mix of German, American Indian and English heritage finds many there questioning, "Are you Turkish?" Violent crime is rare and while there is historic and ongoing problem with ethnic discord resulting in nasty actions of both the government and paramilitary groups, such poses almost zero danger to a tourist OR resident unless they desire involvement. Small merchants predominate with the big stores doing exactly what they should--offering one-stop convenience at a price higher than you can find at "mom and pops". Men and women alike can enjoy the wonderful services of a huge number of barbers and salons at prices often less than the expected tip in the U.S.A. Hirstute men (like me) will marvel at the ability a single new blade on a straight razor to be more comfortable and longer lasting than a five-bladed monstrosity as your nose hairs are plucked, your beard is groomed and your ears burned of hair for half the cost of a big, fancy cup of coffee. Those who enjoy visiting ancient ruins in a land where careful reconstruction is considered desirable will be HIGHLY rewarded, especially if you visit in the spring or fall and avoid the commercial tours which tend to rush you through the sites to spend much of their time visiting sponsoring retailers. Those who enjoy geology, minerology, hydrology, climatology, volcanology, etc. will be ASTOUNDED by the diversity in a surprisingly small area. The triangle roughly bounded by Efus, Antalya and Bodrum is amazingly rich in everything I have mentioned. Private charter of a boat is surprisingly affordable and enjoyable--especially for a small group that finds an older, previously first-class boat at about half capacity. You will enjoy anchorage in waveless, tideless bays that define the color blue where you can snorkel and swim for hours or relax on beaches made of warm, smooth stones that are truly heaven when you bury yourself in blissful isolation. Wake before dawn to enjoy a TRUE planetarium free of light pollution. Turkish food is Mediterranean influenced--highly and pleasantly seasoned with exceptional FRESH vegetables, fruits and breads with even the cheap olives suitable for a meal. Most mid-sized hotels offer buffet breakfasts and dinners where you can eat your fill and still loose weight if you avoid the "tourist" dishes. If you want to enjoy a holiday of a lifetime my finest suggestion is Turkiye. Spend some time planning, contact a reputable travel agency in Turkiye, avoid the big resorts and commercial tours, SLOW DOWN and enjoy a fantastic land filled with wonderful people. report a problem

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