“Travel is very subjective. What one person loves, another loathes.” – Robin Leach
I love Turkey. Turkey is one of the amazing countries I can think of. You would say: Why? What? Haven’t you said you love Iran and Benin Marysia? How come? I though you love Oman and crazy places like Pakistan and Central African Republic.
Yes, I love Iran. I love Benin. I love Jordan. I love Azerbaijan. I dream about visiting Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Honduras, Chechnya. You know all of those crazy names quoted on The Most Dangerous List. But that is me!
I will say something which many travel bloggers never say! Not all the destinations are for everyone. Here you have it. I said it. Iran is great and I highly recommend it to everyone who I ever got to talk with, even my Israeli friends.
But deep down in my heart I know that not many people will go that path. Because lets be honest. I’m a bit weird, crazy, mad. You choose your favourite.
While Turkey is on my ‘Countries that Have It All’ List. Among Israel and Spain! So what are you waiting for? Fly to Turkey.
Ok, ok, maybe before you fly finish this article so you have some good reasons to explain to your boyfriend why you booked the two last minute tickets to the country he never though about visiting before.
I love Turkey because:
1. Food Oh food, glorious food! I’m a total foodie and for me a food is simply enough to make a special trip to another city or country. Even BuzzFeed agrees with me!
Oh and if you want to know how to eat well and do not empty your wallet completely check out this great article: A Day in Istanbul for 20$ by Agness from E-tramping.
2. History I love history and therefore countries which have much to offer in this field wins my heart! No, do not worry! I won’t be taking you through whole history of Turkey from Palaeolithic via to modern times.
I will not be patronizing you about Lydian Kingdom or Seleucid Empire. Simply want to underline that not many countries in the world have a longer, richer and more ragged historical heritage than this superb country! So if you are a history freak it is more than definitely for you.
3. Natural wonders True gems of Turkey, this country is filled with them! But when I think natural wonders I think Pamukkale, Lake Tuz and Cappadocia! All amazing, all impressive but for me Cappadocia bets it all.
It is one of my best travel experiences of all time! No kidding, I love this place! Beautiful, deeply Turkish. Charming. I have visited few rock cities in Georgia last summer, couldn’t help thinking that it doesn’t get better than Cappadocia.
Oh and you can do hot air ballooning there! It is like a cherry on top of ‘already best cake’ of your life.
4. People People, wow, Turkish people, wow. There is not enough words to describe how funny, welcoming, charming, people loving and helpful they are. Always up for having a glass of cay and chitchat/deep conversation! They love fun, they love good food, they love raki. As I call those: simple pleasure in life. And lets be honest here, raki as well can be ‘the and only’ reason to visit Turkey, but I do not want to appear as alcoholic here! A Girl in my age must take good care of her reputation.
5. Diving If you are a first time comer you are excused but all those of you amazing readers know very well by now that I love diving! I’m totally addicted to this sport and will try somewhere only for diving! And that was a main reason why I have visited Bodrum back in 2011. Not only diving was superb, the crew, the people, the diving sites are simply to dive for.
If you are thinking of a great diving spot which is not that far away from Europe you should consider Turkey. Forget the awful Egypt. Which indeed may have one of the best dive sites in the world but being a woman there is just overwhelming and after some time simply annoying and plain energy drainer.
Another plus is Bodrum itself! It is one of the biggest and nicest travel surprised I had in my life! Loved this city and the relaxing atmosphere! Oh my God and the parties. It was like running a marathon, even for such a serious party person like me.
6. Çay I love ‘cay’. You can say, Marysia I like tea as well. Nothing special about it! I’m sorry you couldn’t be more wrong. This very single moment all my Turkish and English friends calling you names.
Cay is not only a drink, it is an institution. It is a sign of welcome, an ice breaker, it is an equalizer! Used as an excuse for meeting, a date, business, a break. You name it! Caution: Be careful with it, the super strong one really gives a real kick.
7. Architecture You know me! I love Arabic architecture! And Turkey is filled with it. There is something very much my cap of tea about this architecture, patterns, colours and symmetry. Yes, you got me! I’m a total OCD and symmetry won me over. Being serious. Turkey is filled with centuries of history, styles and outstanding buildings.
8. Hookah I will not be boring you with names and etymology. As many languages as many aliases! Shisha, water pipe, narghile, qalyān. I simply love it. Are you shocked?! Marysia, you?! Always patronising everyone about dangers of smoking cigarets! You have a full right to be.
I was shocked myself. I felt like a big hypocrite. But I must stay true to myself. I simply love how relaxing it is. I love how cerebral Turkish people are about smoking. It is an occasion for conversation, for catching up with friends, or just letting your mind rest after a whole day of madness.
9. Istanbul This city can be and often is ‘the and only’ reason to visit Turkey. I love Istanbul. No matter what people may say or think it is truly spectacular in all possible aspects. Picturesquely set on Bosphorus between Black and Marmara Sea. Divided into Thrace and Anatolia, or as many prefer Europe and Asia. Charms with a perfect mix of history, style, tradition, religion, welcoming people and beautiful architecture! Life in Istanbul is all about enjoying, having good time and excitement, a ’Turkish joie de vivre’.
Istanbul is beautiful, that goes without saying. Check out great photographies of this amazing city taken by Raphael Zoren from Journey Wonders.
10. Bazaars Who doesn’t love them. We all do. Each of us for our own reason. Some for shopping, some for smells, some for colours and some like me for observing every day life and people in their natural habitat. Sellers, buyers and watchers.
I love bazars for every single thing from the list above but nothing beats a good day spent in the bazaar on talking with people, watching men play backgammon, women picking up groceries and spices, drinking ‘cay’ with strangers. You love to hear what I’m saying, visit a bazaar.
11. Traditions Turkey and Turkish people are very faithful to their traditions and I love that! I’m a big sucker for traditions! Why? Because traditions makes you feel like a part of something bigger. Because foreign traditions allows you to experience things you could never experience in your life.
Think of dervish dance, would you be ever able to see it if people wouldn’t hold to traditions. But to stop all of you telling me it is all old and boring, traditions can be new, modern and fun. You can make your own traditions and cultivating them are usually the most beautiful moments of your life! So join me, love traditions from whole spectrum.
12. Sweets I know I have already mention food. But Turkish sweets deserve a separated place on this list. Once you try them you will understand what I’m taking about! And that comes from a person who always underline: ‘I’m not a big fan of sweets’.
Yes, really I much prefer a stake normally! But when in Turkey I become a big sweet eater! Halva which is and always be my personal favour! Zerde, tulumba, revani, turkish delight, kunefe, cezerey and millions of others! Oh and acıbadem kurabiyesi (almond cookies) I never say NO to! If you are on diet, I’m sorry but you will fail. Not that I want to be mean, but you will fail.
13. Ancient archeological sights Where do I start and where do I finish? Try Google with ancient sights in Turkey and the list of more than 150 will pop up on your screen. Only when I visited Izmir last May I seen more than ten. Area of Old Smyran is dotted with them! To only name the biggest: Ephesus, and Pergamon! Yes, Turkey is a country full of historical heritage. Yes, they are all superb! Pictures here to prove it.
14. Water Water is something I can’t imagine my life without! And no, I’m not talking about drinking water we all need to live. I mean water in the sense of water being present, like a sea, ocean, lake, pond.
Maybe because I’m from the coast and sea was and a part of my daily life, routine. Maybe because it calms me down, maybe because it is humbling. Can’t really explain why but I’m always at my happiest when surrounded by water! All my favourite cites are located on the water: Tel Aviv, Zurich, Oslo, Istanbul. And Turkey has amazing coast line. Black Sea, Marmara Sea, Mediteranaian Sea.
15. … this one I leave for you to fill. Tell me why you love Turkey? Or if you have never been why would you like to give this amazing country a go!