|My Turkish Experience...
Highs: Being served apple tea just about every place I went; seeing the Hagia Sofia and Blue
Mosque at night while hearing the prayer call; seeing camels in Pamukkale; buying a Turkish carpet;
Cappadocia; hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia.
Lows: The cold/rainy weather in Istanbul; finding out the cost of shipping my carpet.
Best Moment: Hot-air balloon ride in Cappadocia.
Craziest Moment: Being taken into a village in the hills above Pamukkale to look at Turkish
carpets at 11:30pm.
Smells: Hookah smoke; Turkish food; roasted chestnuts; roasting corn; grilled fish near the ferry
stations in Istanbul; cigarette smoke.
Sounds: Prayer calls five times a day coming from the mosques; thunder and rain while in
Pamukkale; horns honking;
Sights: Hagia Sofia (pronounced 'Aya Sofia'); the Blue Mosque; Pamukkale; Hierapolis; cypress
trees (aka Tuscany trees); vineyards; an underground city in Cappadocia; Goreme's Open-Air
Museum; huge mountains outside of Cappadocia; Taksim area of Istanbul; cafes along the water in
Ortakoy (at the Bosphorus Bridge); guys selling Turkish ice cream; people playing backgammon.
Tastes: Kebabs and durums; traditional home-cooked Turkish meal of chicken, vegetables and rice;
Turkish delights (fruity, gummy candies); dried apricots; wines from Pamukkale and Cappadocia;
Yeni Raki (a liquor that tastes like liquor that turns white when you dilute it with water); cherry wine;
cherry juice; Turkish ice cream; flavored tobacco from a hookah; gozlemeci; albino-looking
Purchases: a Turkish rug; earrings; cherry wine; small day bag.
Street Foods: Grilled corn on the cob; Turkish ice cream; bread that looks like a cross between a
sesame bagel and a Bavarian pretzel; grilled fish sandwiches; durums and kebabs; nuts; huge stuffed
Fun Food Finds: McTurco at McDonald's; 'A la Turco' Doritos chips.
Western Companies Out Here: Starbuck's, Gloria Jean's Coffee, Burger King, McDonald's
Other General Info...
Visa needed? Yes. I bought it at the airport for 20 USD.
Type of currency? The Turkish Lira. It's equivalent to about $1.30. Some ATMs in Turkey also
give you the option of pulling out British Pounds and Euros. Just about everywhere accepts Euros. A
lot of places will even give you change in Euros.
Wallet Friendly? Yes. Some great, casual places in Istanbul. Touristy restaurants are definitely a
bit pricey. A lot of 'basic' food at reasonable prices outside of Istanbul.
Things Turkey Is Known For: Carpets and kilims, apricots, pistachios, hammams, teas,
Turkish Delight candies.
Religion: Turkey is 99% Muslim.
Local Spelling: Turkiye
Turkey (Ataturk) Airport: Free wireless Internet.