Monday, December 12, 2011

Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey, truly a melting pot of civilizations...

Turkey has been a travel destination in my bucket list for the longest time. I recently spent 7 (short) days travelling just some parts of the country and it certainly did not disappoint. In fact, I was absolutely enthralled!

Straddling 2 continents (Europe & Asia), sandwiched between 2 seas (Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea) and bordered by 8 countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria), Turkey is an exciting and diverse country that’s not only extremely rich in history and culture, but also blessed with amazing natural wonders. There’s just so much to learn, discover and photograph. What else can I ask for?

My 7-day itinerary took me through the following fascinating places, most of which are UNESCO sites:
> the beautiful city of Istanbul, the financial heart of Turkey
> the breathtaking landscapes of Cappadocia in the central region of Nev┼čehir
> the ruined city of Hierapolis and the extraordinary white calcium terraces of Pamukkale near the southwestern city of Denizli
> the ancient city of Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary near the southwestern coastal province of Izmir

Come check out my photo journey through the remarkable & captivating Turkey!


1st Stop >> Istanbul!

Istanbul is such an amazing city. Today, despite being a large, sprawling metropolis with modern skyscrapers, shopping malls and fancy restaurants, the city’s ancient mosques, traditional bazaars and humble kebab stalls still continue to draw and delight.

I’ll never forget waking up to the beautiful view of the sunrise over the Bosphorus from my hotel room in Sultanahmet, but the real pleasure comes from actually cruising down the strait that separates the city’s European and Asian sides. Capturing a panoramic view of the ‘Golden Horn’ in Istanbul is a must, and so is sipping tea throughout the day, just as the Turks do…

The historic areas of Istanbul are considered UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Check it out here.

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