This was my second time in Turkey (see first Blog) and this time I came from Bulgaria (see Blog) in the north. I spent six weeks and was only able to see the West and Central parts. Turkey is the 37th largest (by area) country in the world with the 17th largest population. This is where East meets West with one foot in Asia and the other in Europe. It was the first Muslim former-Ottoman land to establish a democracy. The food is fantastic (typical Mediterranean style) and there are many things to see. I started in Istanbul and went south to Pergamum, Ephesus, Antalya, and Cappadocia before going to Syria. I became friends with many Turkish people and found them to be progressive in many ways and always willing to help.
Turkey has something for everyone – beautiful beaches in the south, skiing in the mountains, cosmopolitan cities, more classical ruins than Greece and Italy, many major religious sites, and amazing landscapes. Traveling here is not as cheap as it once was given its strong currency, positive economic conditions, and potential membership in the EU but is still a bargain compared with most of Europe.
Next stop Syria (see Blog).