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  The Chatter Box : Travel
South-Eastern Turkey by Spursfan2 on 28 April 2013 9:58am
Zak and I have just booked our November 'adventure' with our 2 friends from Yorkshire.

We'd already booked the flights to Turkey, but just had to figure where to go within the holiday. We have decided on South Eastern Turkey, where Zak and I visited with a Turkish friend in Ocotber 2009.

After a couple of nghts in our apartments (home form home!) we will fly to Urfa, a flight of 2 hours and stay in that city for 3 nights. According to legend Abraham was born there and one day when Nimrod, the local Assyrian king, took offece at Abraham destroying pagan gods, Nimrod had Abraham placed on a funeral pyre, but god turned the fire into water and the burning coals into fish. Abraham himself was hurled into the air from the hill where the fortress stands, but landed safely in a bed of roses.

There are 2 large pools of 'sacred carp'; we visited and it is a delightful place; you can buy food to feed the carp with (I won't 'carp on' about this much longer lol).

You can also visit the cave where according to legend Abraham was born. It is a very sacred place and is split into male and female viewings.

So that is just 2 of the sites we'll be showing our firends who haven't visited there.

We'll also be visiting (again, for us) Harran, with its 'bee-hive' houses. It is alleged to be the world's oldest city, but I know there are others that aso claim this. The earliest records of the city are from 2300 BCE.

After the 3 nights we will be spending 2 nights near Mount Nemrut. This is yet another ancient site.


We then fly back to our base for a week.

These sites are all very close to the Syrian border - in 2009 we actually took photos of the border itself.

Can't wait. Visiting these places is wonderful enough, but visiting them with very good friends is the icing on the cake.

[We (just Zak and I this time as our friends can't make it) are also off to Turkey for a lazy holiday in 6 weeks time]
Re: South-Eastern Turkey by suzulu on 30 April 2013 11:00pm
Sounds good, Anne.
Re: South-Eastern Turkey by Spursfan2 on 2 May 2013 9:23am
The nearest we will be going to the border with Syria is approximately 15 - 20 miles.

Zak checked on the FO site last night which says to avoid being 10 miles or less from the border.

We shall obviously check again before we go in November.

Re: South-Eastern Turkey by Wheelrim on 10 May 2013 3:59pm
Have you ever thought about driving there Anne? its fun.
Re: South-Eastern Turkey by Spursfan2 on 11 May 2013 9:34am

The first year we visited Turkey (1988) we hired a car and spent a week driving round. We went inland first and visited Pammukale, then on to Cappadocia and finally we drove through Ankara (not stopping) to Istanbul. We drove back from Istanbul to Kusadasi in 7 hours - it takes about 30 mins by plane.

In 1994 we flew into Dalaman, drove along the med coast stopping at various places (including Demre where St Nicholas came from - visiting his tomb and whispering my xmas list!) as far as Mersin. We then turned inland and drove to Tarsus where we drank water from St Paul's well, and continued to Kayseri in central Turkey, staying a couple of days with some Turkish friends. We then continued north up to the Black Sea, travelling along it as far as Trabzon, near the Russian border and visiting places such as the Sumela Monastery (though I admit I didn't climb up, too scary for me!). We then drove back to Kayseri, collecting one of our friends. The following morning we drove to Konya and visited the Mevlana Museum - one of my favourite places. Then to our base of Kusadasi where we stayed at a friend's hotel for the final week. We had toured for two weeks and travelled I THINK from memory 2000 miles.

We've had many adventures of course driving in the middle of nowhere, seeing the wildlife, tortoises, lizards, eagles, HUNDREDS of prairie dogs, etc etc. We had kids place tomatoes on the road in front of us as we drove through a village at the height of the tomato season (we avoided them!!). We were stopped for overtaking on a no overtaking bit (a tractor going about 3 mph - no police in view, where did he come from?!!) and then had the policeman treat us like film stars when he saw we were English - wouldn't happen now as they are getting more used to tourists.

There is nothing like driving on an open road in the middle of nowhere with Simon and Garfunkel blasting from the car tape player (as it was then!!).

BUT petrol/diesel is even more expensive in Turkey than it is in the UK, and car hire isn't cheap either - a good price is £30 a day. The flights in November will only be £30 return each, and as it will only take 2 hours to get there rather than more than 14 hours driving.

So the answer to your question is - yes, we have driven extensively in Turkey (only described a couple of driving adventures above) and we've enjoyed the freedom of the open road immensely - being able to stop whenever we want etc - but it is much more practical to fly to places this distance away!!


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