16 July 2011

A trip to Turkey

I went to Turkey with my sister for one week. We flew to Antalya, a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey and from there traveled to a little coastal town of Side. We had a magical time and I am now in love with this country and its people who are always happy, charming and ready to please. They speak many languages so it wasn't a problem to communicate in either Polish, Russian or English - amazing really. The food was also great (not so great for my waste lol).

The view of the beach:

An olive tree, on the street:

A real Turkish kebab:Me with a statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey who is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey. Apparently even nowadays you cN get put in jail if you say something negative or offensive about him:My sister in a spice shop:Beautiful Turkish coffee:

Our hotel which was a great choice as big hotels are very noisy with parties every night until early hours of the morning:

Beach which was 100 m away from our hotel:

Turkish wedding (red is a lucky colour):

We went on a trip to Pamukkale which was located 4 hours drive from Side. Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.

This is Cleopatra's pool which is filled with thermal water. It was great and relaxing in there:

Below are numerous photos of travertine. Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. In this area, there are 17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35 °C to 100 °C . The water that emerges from the spring is transported 320 metres to the head of the travertine terraces and deposits calcium carbonate. When the water, supersaturated with calcium carbonate, reaches the surface, carbon dioxide degasses from it, and calcium carbonate is deposited. The depositing continues until the carbon dioxide in the water balances the carbon dioxide in the air. Calcium carbonate is deposited by the water as a soft jelly but this eventually hardens into travertine.

People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. As recently as the mid-20th century, hotels were built there causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes. When the area was declared a World Heritage Site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed. Wearing shoes in the water is prohibited to protect the deposits.

I am taking an advantage of the mineral water:In Pamukkalewe also saw Hierapolis, an ancient Greco-Roman city which now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Great baths were constructed there with huge stone blocks without the use of cement, and consisted of various closed or open sections linked together. There are deep niches in the inner section of the bath, library, gymnasium and other closed or open locations there. The complex was constructed in the 2nd century BCE.

It was extremely hot while we were walking through the ruins and I was getting burnt. The huge towel has saved me:

We went to an open air theatere to see a performance by the Fire of Anatolia - a Turkish dance group consisting of 120 dancers. The group has performed in more than 85 countries from the USA to China and Japan, in front of an audience of approximately 20 million people altogether. Fire of Anatolia holds two Guinness records, one for fastest dance performance with 241 steps per minute and another for largest audience, 400 000 people in Ereğli, in the Black Sea Region of the country. The head of the group is Mustafa Erdoğan.

Drinking Turkish tea in a traditional tulip shaped glass. By the way - tulips were first grown in Turkey. During the Ottoman Empire, the tulip became very popular in Ottoman territories and was seen as a symbol of abundance and indulgence. In fact, the era during which the Ottoman Empire was wealthiest is often called the Tulip era or Lale Devri in Turkish. It was some time in the 16th century that tulip bulbs were taken to Holland where they started to grow them there.

We visited a Mosque in Manavgat, a town and district of the Antalya Province.

You cannot enter a Mosque wearing shoes:

Tiles inside the Mosque:

My sister and I. Women must wear scarves in a Mosque:

Children are receiving religion lessons inside the Mosque:A place in front of the Mosque with water tabs, people must clean themselves before they enter a Mosque to pray:Children in front of the Mosque:My sister ready to enter the Mosque:


  1. Kasha.... looks like you had an absolute ball in Turkey... was a fascinating country. Was this your first visit?

  2. Loved sharing your experiences Kasha. Those spices looked just incredible. Bet you were tempted there.