Why We Love It

The best thing about the three weeks I spent in Turkey was the diversity of landscape and experiences. There truly is something for everyone! Cappadocia was unlike anywhere I’ve been – walking through valleys of fairy chimneys, and a hot air balloon ride at sunrise were definitely highlights of the trip. And there’s no better way to end a long day’s walking than to be pampered at a hamam. Heading south to the Mediterranean coast is like venturing into another country. The sparkling coastline is dotted with port towns, each full of great little restaurants serving tasty home-style meals, streets of art galleries and shops selling jewellery – perfect for an afternoon of shopping. After that, it’s time to hit the tiny bars for an evening of meze and the local brew, efes beer, served up amidst the sweet smelling shisha pipes. Heading back towards Istanbul, the landscape is dotted with some of the best preserved ruins in the world. We visited Ephesus and Troy, which were amazing sites, but it was Gallipoli that I was really looking forward to visiting. It was quiet when we were there – we saw only three other groups of visitors. We spent around five hours exploring. The Gallipoli Peninsula is one of the most peaceful places I’ve visited in the world – its serenity makes its all the more difficult to comprehend the destruction and loss that occurred there in the First World War for our Anzacs and the Turks. And last but not least, Istanbul. A truly cosmopolitan city, with some of the best markets, bars and restaurants you’ll find. Every second corner had a pastry shop selling irresistible baklava and Turkish delight. It’s a city I could go back to time and time again, each time exploring somewhere and something new, and always making exciting discoveries.