A Travellerspoint blog

Istanbul to Gallipoli to Canakkale

Day 2

sunny 30 °C

We left Istanbul after breakfast to make our way to Gallipoli. Our first rest stop before our destination was in Terkirdag where we sampled the local apple tea. This was very sweet but delicious.

Apple Tea with yoghurt honey poppy seeds

Apple Tea with yoghurt+honey+poppy seeds

Fully refreshed we continued our journey. The Gallipoli Peninsula is bordered to the east of the Dardanelles and is on the European side of Turkey. It has lovely stretch of sandy beaches but is also known for one of the bloodiest campaigns of WW1, where more than 500, 000 Allied (Australian, British, French , Indian and New Zealand) and Turkish soldiers laid down their lives.

The beach where the troops landed

The beach where the troops landed

Mehmetcik Memorial

Mehmetcik Memorial

The trenches

The trenches

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, and is commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for the country.

A memorial

A memorial

On 25 April 2005, to mark the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, government officials from Australia and New Zealand, most of the last surviving Gallipoli veterans, and many Australian and New Zealand tourists traveled to Turkey for a special dawn service at Gallipoli. People still go there every year on that day to remember.

This region is dotted with cemetries and monuments. We visited a few cemetries, one of them being Lone Pine which was in a beautiful setting. It was sure sad to see the number of young lives lost.

Lone Pine Cemetry

Lone Pine Cemetry

After this trip we crossed over the Mamara sea by ferry to the Asia side of Turkey and stopped in the city of Canakkale for a night in a family run hotel called Tusan Hotel. It is located within a pine forest looking over the Dardanelles and has it's own private beach. It's a truly relaxing and peaceful place to be in and the staff were very friendly. We had a very nice dinner at the outside restaurant whilst watching the sunset.

Posted by travelbug_ 15.01.2010 14:32 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Canakkale to Troy to Izmir to Kusadasi

Day 3

sunny 30 °C

At 8 am we made our way to Troy. Troy was the centre point of Homer's Iliad and was where the decade long Trojan War (13th century) was fought. The attraction is a reconstructed Trojan Horse along with some excavation sites.

At Troy

At Troy


At Troy

At Troy

At Troy

At Troy

At Troy

At Troy

At Troy

At Troy

The German born Heinrich Schliemann excavated some trenches which we saw from North to South and East to West.
We spent about 1.5 hrs here before moving on.

Our lunch break was taken in Edremit where I sampled a Turkish pizza called pidda. It had a topping of mixed meat and cheese and was yummy.

Turkish pidda

Turkish pidda

After lunch we made our way to Izmir (3rd largest city after Istanbul and Ankara) following a coastal route along the Aegean sea. The scenery was breath taking what with the mountain regions, olive trees and the sea.
A quick photo stop was taken in Izmir. It's a harbour and a posh place brimming with loads of people.
It took 1.5 hrs to reach Kusadasi where we stayed for 2 nights in Hotel Grand Ozcelik which also had a beach just outside the hotel.
we had a buffet dinner with a large variety of Turkish foods. The desserts were especially delicious :-)

Turkish sunset

Turkish sunset

Posted by travelbug_ 15.01.2010 14:32 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Ephesus

Day 4

sunny 33 °C

Today we went to one of the greates ruined cities in the Western world. Ephesus played an important role in the spread of Christianity as Paul travelled there to spread the gospel. Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. We saw 2/5 of what is opened to visitors. The site itself is very large. We saw the ruins of the Turkish bath, gate of Hercules which is the entrance to Curetes Street, the Temple of Hadrian, latrines amongst other ruins. The most interesting was the library of Celsus which was built was built in honor of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus and the huge stadium where Paul preached at. We spent a good few hours there and it was a very, very hot day. Luckily I had brought a lot of water to keep hydrated.

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

The Library of Celsius at Ephesus

The Library of Celsius at Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

At Ephesus

In the afternoon we went to see the House of Virgin Mary which is set on a hill. Jesus had asked St John to look after his Mother and so John brought Mary to Ephesus in AD 37where she spent the last years of her life (located in Meryemana which is 5 miles from Ephesus). We went inside and lit a candle and also got some Holy Water from the springs. What was interesting was that there was a wall with loads of tissues/cloths mounted on it. I late found out that prayer requests are written on there and placed on the wall. There were a lot of pilgrims there and it was nice to be in that surrounding.

Info

Info


Statue of the Virgin Mary

Statue of the Virgin Mary


The last house of Virgin Mary

The last house of Virgin Mary


Info

Info


Springs with Holy Water

Springs with Holy Water

The wall full of prayer requests

The wall full of prayer requests

The wall full of prayer requests

The wall full of prayer requests

For lunch we went to a nearby village where I sampled yummy peach wine and a turkish pancake which is tuffed with minced meat and potatoes. was very delicious.

Before going back to the hotel we made a brief stop at the ruins of the temple of Artemis. The monument was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World but now only the foundations and the fragments of the temple remains.

whatthe temple of Artemis originally looked like

whatthe temple of Artemis originally looked like


What is left of the temple of Artemis

What is left of the temple of Artemis

At 5.30pm we took the shuttle bus into the town of Kusadasi. It came to life after 8pm with people enjoying eating out etc. There were bazaars selling loads of goods. We wondered around for a while before having a delicious dinner. I had a yoghurt kebab - strips of beef on potato with a tomato sauce and yoghurt. We wondered around before heading back. It was nice to see the hustle and bustle and people enjoying themselves.

Posted by travelbug_ 15.01.2010 14:32 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Kusadasi to Pamukkale to Denzli area

Day 5

sunny 30 °C

On the way to Pamukkale we stopped at Aphrodisias[/b which is another ancient city]. It is 30 kilometers from the town of Denizli in South Eastern Turkey. During 1st to 6th centuries AD, Aphrodisias became a rich and important city. It was a thriving trade center and also known for its school of marble sculptors. Paganism still lingered for some centuries at Aphrodisias because of the great popularity of the cult of the goddess regardless of the advancement of Christianity. Here we saw the various ruins: Tetrapylon (2nd century gateway), the stadium which was amazing as it could seat 30,000 spectators, temple of aphrodite and the theatre which is accessed by climbing up a hill. After a wonder round we looked in the museum which housed marble sculptures.

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P1000502

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P1000518

The stadium at Aphrodisias

The stadium at Aphrodisias

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P1000528

At Aphrodisias

At Aphrodisias

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P1000540

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P1000541

At Aphrodisias

At Aphrodisias

We went for lunch at a nearby village before heading to [b]Pamukkale. The scenery en route was beautiful as we travelled through the fertile region. We arrived at Pamukkale mid afternoon where we had 2 hours to enjoy this national site. Pamukkale, means "cotton castle" in Turkish and the ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) long and 160 metres (520 ft) high.
The 'castle's are formed when water from the hot springs loses carbon dioxide as it flows down the slopes, leaving deposits of limestone behind. The layers of of white calcium carbonate build up in steps on the plateau. Visitors are not allowed to walk in there but can do on the man-made ones which we did.
The thermal springs at Hierapolis made the city a popular spa in Hellenistic times.

Hieropolis

Hieropolis

Hieropolis

Hieropolis

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale

After some time here, we made our way to the Herakles Thermal Hotel where you can have your own thermal water on tap in your bath or in the thermal pool outside. It was a lovely hotel and in the evening there is a local market with all sorts of goods ranging from embroidered stuff to jewellery. The Denizili area is known for its textiles.

Posted by travelbug_ 15.01.2010 14:32 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Bursa to Istanbul

Day 11

sunny 32 °C

We arrived in Istanbul in the early afternoon and went on to visit the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque). It is known as the Blue Mosque as blue tiles adorn the walls of the interior of the mosque. It was built between 1609 and 1616. For me personally, I found Kocatepe Mosque to be more impressive.

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Inside the Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

We also saw what was left of the Hippodrome. It was called the “Hippodrome” in Roman and Byzantine eras, and “The Horse Square” in the Ottoman period, Sultanahmet Square had been regarded as the centre of Istanbul by many civilizations. Chariot races were often held there. The Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column and the Constantine Column is what is left there.

The Egyptian Obelisk - hippodrome

The Egyptian Obelisk - hippodrome

In the afternoon we cruised the Bosphorous. It is Istanbul's famous waterway which divides Europe and Asia. We saw some palaces and the Bosphorus Bridge which connects Europe and Asia. It was nice to see Istanbul from another perspective and was very relaxing.

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Cruising the Bosphorous

Posted by travelbug_ 15.01.2010 14:31 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

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