Turkey
Turkey

Curious what backpackers do in Turkey? Discover travel destinations all over the world of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

240 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Fastfood at the Bosphorus

    December 20, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    In der zweitgrößten Metropole Europas muss niemand verhungern! Gefühlt überall und zu jeder Tageszeit brodelt, köchelt und dampft es aus unzähligen Restaurants, kleinen Garküchen und mobilen Verkaufsständen. Müsste der "Nicht-Türkei-Reisende" typisches "Fastfood" für Istanbul benennen, würde ihm spontan sicherlich "Döner Kebab" als Erstes einfallen. Die in Deutschland äußerst beliebte Zwischenmahlzeit, ist jedoch in der Türkei nicht zwingend ( mit Ausnahme von touristisch stark frequentierten Gebieten ) Fastfood. Eher eine im Vergleich teure Mahlzeit, da beim Originaldöner qualitativ hochwertiges Lammfleisch verwendet wird und kein "Fleischrestemix" wie wir es in Deutschland kennen! Auch wird das Dönerfleisch in der Türkei überlicherweise nicht in ein Brötchen gezwängt, sondern auf einem Teller serviert! Unangefochtener Fastfood-Spitzenreiter ist definitiv der Simit - ein ( wenn frisch ) äußerst leckerer Sesamkringel, ohne den das öffentliche Leben am Bosporus zweifelsohne in Anarchie versinken würde! Sicherlich gehen jeden Tag allein in Istanbul Millionen ( für umgerechnet 0,30 € / Stk.) davon über die Ladentheken und mobilen Verkaufsstände, die wiederum gefühlt, alle 100 Meter auf Kundschaft warten. Ganz in der Nähe des "Ägyptischen Basars" hat man dem beliebten Kringel sogar eine Bronzeskulptur gewidmet - das sagt ja wohl alles! Fast genauso oft sind kleine Verkaufswägen zu sehen, an denen Maiskolben ( in Milchwasser gekocht oder vom Grill ) und geröstete Maronen erhältlich sind. Sehr beliebt sind auch süße Waffeln oder "Kumpir" - große Folienkartoffeln mit den unterschiedlichsten Dipps dazu! Frische Miesmuscheln mit etwas Zitronensaft und die ( vor allem an der Galata-Brücke ) angebotenen Fischbrötchen mit gegrillten Sardinenfilets, sind natürlich auch der Lage unmittelbar am Meer geschuldet. Gesunde Sachen sind tatsächlich auch zu bekommen! Die Locals zeigen große Begeisterung bei frischgeprässten Säften und so ist es nicht verwunderlich, daß überdurchschnittlich viele Fruchtpressen im Einsatz sind. Auch habe ich immer wieder Mal als gesunden Snack zwischendurch, bereits gepulte Granatapfel-Kerne entdeckt - sehr lecker und.....es erspart das mühsame Entkernen der Früchte, welches bedingt durch den stark färbenden Fruchtsaft, im günstigen Fall nackt unter einem Wasserfall erledigt werden sollte! Zweifelsohne eine Kuriosität und sicherlich nicht Jedermanns Geschmack, ist Kokoreç! Gegrillte und gewürzte Lammdärme, werden zerhäckselt im "Baguette" mit Kräutern und Gemüse als Snack zwischendurch, oder auf einem Teller angerichtet, als Hauptmahlzeit verzehrt. Eine bei den Osmanen sehr beliebte Speise, die jedoch bis jetzt überhaupt nicht mein Interesse wecken konnte :-)!Read more

  • Day7

    Let myself drift one last time!

    December 20, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Die Regenfront ist weitergezogen - am letzten Tag in Istanbul lasse ich mich vormittags noch einmal durch das Viertel "Kadıköy" in Richtung "Taksim Platz" treiben. In der verkehrsberuhigten, kilometerlangen Einkaufsstraße dorthin, reihen sich die seelenlosen Labels, welche weltweit die "Shoppingmeilen" beherrschen, aneinander - wer's mag! Ich nicht wirklich - die lebhaften Gassen der Basare reizen mich viel mehr, daher kehre ich nach ungefähr einen Kilometer wieder um und bummle zurück zum "Marmara Guesthouse". Gegen 17.00 Uhr wird's dann Zeit für einen letzten Abendspaziergang. Nach dem "Ägyptischen Basar", hat mich sogleich das Basarviertel "verschluckt" - mein Ziel für's bescheidene Dinner, ist ein letztes Mal die Pide-Bäckerei meines Vertrauens, "Mavi Haliç Pidecisi"! Jetzt gerade sitze ich wieder umgeben von UNESCO gelisteten Prachtbauten - in wenigen Minuten beginnt der abendliche "Wettstreit" der Muezzine. Danach noch ein kurzer Plausch mit "Erbek" dem Schuhputzer - es wartet eine neue Hörspielproduktion der "Schatzinsel" auf mich :-)!Read more

  • Day10

    Izmir, Turkey

    June 13, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    The short crossing from Mytilene, Lesbos, Greece to Ayvalik, Turkey took only 1.5 hours and it was a beautiful warm sunny early evening for the sailing. On arrival at Passport Control in Turkey however I was advised I had to pay 25 Euros for a Visa. ‘Now you can be in Turkey for 3 months’ an Immigration Official told me, even although I had already told him I would only be here for 3 days. ‘Yes, that’s correct, 3 months’ he insisted.

    I was a bit panicky that with the later crossing, it might be hard to get to my next destination, Izmir, by public transport, and I knew there was no rail connection. I caught a local bus to the bus station just in time to catch the 20.15 express coach to Izmir. This turned out to be quite the luxury coach with reclining seats, airline-style at-seat video screens, and complimentary refreshments on the 2.5 hour trip. And all this for the princely sum of £4.90. It was just like the Megabus Gold to Aberdeen (minus the tablet). Izmir is a huge city of 3 million inhabitants, and the Coach Station was somewhere on the outskirts. I was about to take a taxi but the helpful transport officer told me there was a free connection to the old town, some distance away, and I was even dropped off right at my hotel.

    Given the excellent value in Turkey, I had decided to splash out on the 5 star Renaissance Hotel Izmir. It is one of the best hotels I have stayed in. My room was almost a suite with separate bathroom and shower rooms - a far cry from my cell at the Clink in London. I chilled out with a glass of Merlot on the rooftop bar surrounded by the lights of the city. The breakfast was terrific, 2nd only to the Intercontinental Hotel in Singapore (courtesy of Mr Super Kenny tours!).

    In spite of my late night, I got up early to explore some of the sights of the old city, all within walking distance of the hotel. The impressive Smyrna Agora from Roman times; the old Bazaar selling everything from fruit, veg, fish and meat (including pigs trotters - sorry, Betty) to costumes which would look great in Aladdin; and the elegant Clock Tower, emblem of the city.

    Back at the hotel, there was time for a rejuvenating swim in the pool before heading off, all to soon, to catch the train to Bandirma port. Izmir surprised and is well worth a visit.
    Read more

  • Day12

    En route to Constantinople

    June 15, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    The twice daily train from Izmir to Bandirma Port, known as the Eylül Express, left punctually at 14.00. The term Express was a bit of a misnomer as it trundled along so slowly at times that it might have been quicker walking along its single track. The train however was modern and air-conditioned, and I was glad I had made a free seat reservation as it was extremely busy. Relaxing with a welcome cup of chai from the trolley, the silence was broken by the wailing of 3 toddlers who appeared to take it in turns to scream at the top of their voices, much to the delight of their families, especially one granny, who beamed with delight every time one of them let go with a particularly prolonged outburst. Ah well, it’s only a 7 hour journey, I consoled myself. Two of the babies got off (with their parents) after 3 hours, but shock horror, another 3 got on! What is this - a baby boom? Is the telly so bad in Turkey? I searched my emergency medical kit: paracetamol, Diocalm, Ex-Lax - but no sign of Calpol or even Nurse Harvey’s Gripe Mixture. Lesson learned - be better prepared.

    The scenery was pleasant if unspectacular, and the Turkish countryside was lined with olive orchards for much of the way, with minarets dotting the villages and towns we passed through. The sun was beating down and it was nice to enjoy the cool of the carriage. In spite of the modern comfortable seating accommodation, the loo on the train was another story - literally a hole in the floor for squatting. I was wishing I had purchased one of the pads displayed on the mannequin in the pharmacy outside the station (see photo).

    What’s this? Only five hours after departure and all the little tots have dropped off to sleep. Bless the little darlings, they’re no bother at all.

    On arrival at its northern terminus at Bandirma, I made my way just across the street to the Panderma Port Hotel, an old inn full of character with a large double room facing the front. The interior was dimly lit and the colour scheme was from the 1970s - all browns and creams with illumination coming from 40 Watt bulbs. I could scarcely see the keyhole to my room in the dimness, but the fact I still had my sunglasses on didn’t help. I was pleased to see a late night café still open and made my way there, only to realise that 100 yards (or is it metres?) along the street there was a huge Blackpool-like resort waiting to be enjoyed. A sizeable funfair opened onto a veritable sea of attractions - side shows, candy floss stalls, tattoo parlours, outdoor theatres, hotels and literally hundreds of eating places. There was even an illuminated suspension bridge. The place was thronged with thousands of people all out enjoying themselves. For the first time on my trip I felt a bit out of place - you need company to enjoy funfairs and the like. Young people were queuing up to buy food from takeaway stalls - barbecued corn on the cob and what looked like pickled cucumbers.

    I opted for the safer option of a McDonald’s. Sitting outside people-watching in the still warm evening air, I watched four girls at a table in front of me, all made up to the nines, wearing the best designer gear, showing each other YouTube clips on their top of the range mobile phones, and generally having a good laugh. They got up and left without clearing their table. Seconds later two teenage boys came over and appeared to start clearing up. However they were actually emptying the leftovers of the fries into a packet each, and the dregs of the soft drinks into a cup each and made off with their complimentary Happy Meal. An old lady, heavily wrinkled and stooped with age berated them, waving her stick and shouting something unintelligible. She then sat at the table and proceeded to pick at the remaining scraps left by the young vultures. They had beat her to it. Such an illustration of wealth and poverty at one table in the space of five minutes.

    In the centre of it all, amidst the noise and hustle and bustle of the crowd, the Crier called the faithful to prayer from his minaret, high above the Sodom and Gomorrah scene below. The amplified sound was deafening.

    My comfortable stay at the Panderma Port included a substantial breakfast, all for £27. The three friendly waitresses rushed to greet me, the only diner in a room which was set for 50. ‘You would like an omelette?’ the eldest one said ‘with eggs and cheese?’ Well certainly with eggs I thought. ‘And what about some cheeses? This one is my favourite - and this one too’. By this time my plate was groaning with several large cubes of identical looking (and tasting) white cheese. When I returned to my table the omelette had arrived, complete with eggs and cheese, and tasted delicious. Some Turkish tea arrived in one of the fine fluted glasses I had become accustomed to, and which at home might be used to display small bunches of freesia. This version was very strong like Builder’s Tea, and tasted as if it had been stewing in a can for a fortnight. I gulped it down quickly and went back to the buffet for baklava, returning to see my Builder’s Tea being replenished with a smile.

    Thus fortified, I made my way to the IDO Ferry for the 10.00 sailing across the Sea of Marmara to Istanbul. What a great way to arrive in this grand city. I made my way to my hotel - the Senator, only to discover it had been taken over by Holiday Inn. It had all been refurbished and the room was terrific. I headed off to see the Grand Bazaar which I had missed on my last visit as it was closed. What an amazing place! Then a walk to the Sultanahmet area and a visit to see the Blue Mosque and the ginormous Hagia Sophia. Although both still magnificent, there was a lot of renovation work going on. Took one of Istanbul’s clean, efficient trams to the Galata Bridge and had fish for dinner in one of the many seafood restaurants. It was a lovely sunny evening and I enjoyed looking over the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus where numerous ferries plied their way back and forth. I’ll maybe pop over to Asia for lunch tomorrow.

    I discovered my hotel had a Hamam (Turkish Bath) available, and I took advantage of it to rejuvenate myself after walking about the hot streets all day. Bliss…
    Read more

  • Day125

    Food

    September 7, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    We start the morning early with a powerful porridge with fruits made by Joscha. The cycling goes well and we arrive early at our destination Ayancik. To see four cyclists in the villages on the way must be quite rare as almost all people greet us. The views are magic again. Forests changes with coastline.

    We have a lot of wonderful local food and try everything. Turkish food is just awesome. (Köfte, Bulgur, Chickpeas, Moussaka, Rice, Beans, Gözleme, ... you name it) Also the deserts! (Boyabat Ezmesi, Künefe, Catmar, Baclava...) Delicious. We find a place to sleep in the "teachers house" through a German-Turkish family from the city that uses their connections. We enjoy a beautiful seaview there. In the evening, the waves are so huge! They hit against the walking area and people stand and stare.

    Our "how turkish are you" - index just rose today as we had 5 times tea today :D
    Read more

  • Day125

    Among like-minded people

    December 29, 2016 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

    German Version and more photos on www.cyclingfornepal.com

    Since my last entry, a lot of time has passed. You're probably wondering where I am right now! More on that later.

    After my arrival in Turkey, I began to reflect the previous journey. I had been traveling for about 80 days. 65 days I was on the bike. As with any type of travel, traveling by bike has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is surely the sporty aspect, the kilometers traveled driven by their own strength, the constant proximity to nature and the quick contact with locals, who stop you out of curiosity on the roadside.

    In spite of the hardships that often accompany you, I still believe that traveling by bicycle is the ideal pace to get to know a country and its culture. Nevertheless, there is a big drawback, which always catches me: the lack of social contact to like-minded people. The journey has been so far as I had imagined. Cycling lonely mountain roads, set up the tent under the stars, and find proximity to the locals.

    Nevertheless, I realized that I am not happy with the current situation and must change something. So it was on the time to slow down the pace and find like-minded people. Where do I best meet them? Either you meet somebody by chance at the supermarket, like Ruggero and Brian, with whom I cycled together through Greece or you do not leave it to chance and stay in a hostel.

    After arriving in Fethyie I checked into the hostel "El Camino". It was low season and not busy. But I immediately got to know some people, including Marc. He had given up his job in July, packed his backpack, and took an plane to Greece. There he had spent almost three months before he went on to Turkey. Marc does not have a precise schedule, just an approximate goal: Japan. Marc also writes a blog, which is worth reading: www.schillis-roadbook.com. The next day, we decided to make a hike though a canyon, which became more adventurous than expected. This should not be our last joint venture.

    In the evening I met a young couple in the hostel. I told them about the trip and the fundraising. As coincidence has brought us togehter, they were still looking for a way to make a donation for a good cause. They quickly picked up their laptop and immediately gave a donation to "Cycling for Nepal". Chapeu!

    Actually, I wanted to take the pace out of the trip, but I was little under time pressure, as I would meet my father in Antalya three days later. So I had to start the next day again. But before I made a paragliding flight on recommendation from Marc on a nearby bay. Afterwards, I went back to the bike with a stiff stomach, but it was an unforgettable experience.

    I would have liked to stay longer in Fethiye, but I was also looking forward to see my dad. After a three-day trip along the coast, I arrived in Antalya in the evening. A short time later also my dad reached the hotel and the joy of the reunion was very big. We had a lot to talk about, enjoyed the sunny weather and looked at the city. Of course, a bit of action could not be missed. So we did a rafting trip in the nearby national park, which also joined Marc, who had also arrived in Antalya. After a week, it was time to say good-bye. Thank you Franky for coming.

    Marc and I had already made new travel plans: First we wanted to stay at the small village of Olympos and then continue to Geyikbayiri, the hot spot for all sports climbers who want to escape the winter. Olympos is a small ancient city on the east coast, about 70 km from Antalya. Besides historical ruins, the picturesque location by the sea and the cabin-villages giving the town a special flair. In the summer, festive backpackers from all over the world meet here to celebrate and dance together in the surrounding cabin-villages. On recommendation from other travelers we stayed at Kadirs Tree House.

    Due to the low season we were only a group of 20 people, but we enjoyed the relaxed and quiet atmosphere. In the high season, up to 300 backpackers make their way to the Kadirs Treehouse. Olympos also has a lot of activities to offer. So Marc and I took a kayak tour along the coast and went climbing in the surrounding rock faces.

    The great thing about hostels is that you quickly meet like-minded people from all over the world, who like to travel and are open to any activities. Among them were Dave, Helene, Simon, Marija, Deniz and many others. Over time, we all got along so well that it was difficult for us to move on to Geyikbayiri.

    Before we went on, of course, we had to look at the nearby main attraction: the Flame Mountain. With Marc's Guitarlele (quote Marc: Guitarlele = When a guitar and ukulele have sex) on the back, we set off late in the evening to the Flame Mountain. At first we were all still somewhat skeptical, but when we arrived we were totally from the stool. There were flames coming from the ground, without smoke. We made it around a fire place and Marc played his best campfire songs.

    It was a great ending of an outstanding time. Next stop was Geyikbayiri. But Marc and I were not moving on alone. Dave quickly reversed his flight and joined us. Simon and Marija also came along. With a packed car we drove on to the one-hour distant, Geyikbayiri.

    Geybairi is a world-famous climbing spot. Especially due to the warm temperatures between 20 and 25 celcius, the area is ideal for climbing. There are 5 climbing camps, where you can either pitch your tent or rent a cabin / caravan. Marc and Dave moved into a hut, and I pitched my tent. The area is extensively developed with routes and it never gets boring.

    I had climbed a lot during my sports studies, which was 5 years ago. Even though it was a few years back, I had already licked blood again in Olympos. Our days were quite simple: food, climbing and relaxing. Everyone had his projects. The motivation increased even more as soon as one had completed his project.

    You could get used to the lifestyle, but unfortunately it was time for our paths to separate. Marc had to go to Ankara to look after the visa for Iran (he has now arrived in Tehran / Iran). Dave, Simon and Marija have flown back to Innsbruck/ Austria. I had a memorable time in Turkey and have made great friendships. Through these beautiful encounters I had fulfilled my plan to find like-minded people.

    My original plan to travel through Georgia was no longer a question. It had already snowed. In thought of my homeland, I thought of a very special person who I wanted to see very bad. So I decided to fly to Munich.

    Of course the journey is not finished, because Kagate in Nepal is still my goal, which I am looking forward to. By the way, the school building in Kagate makes significant progress (Photo).

    How are things going on now:
    On January 10th I fly to Dubai to visit a friend. A week later I continue to Sri Lanka. There I will try to work on my surfing skills.

    I would like to thank all the supporters who have shaped the donation project and the journey so successfully. Thanks to your great help, this donation project is realizable.

    I sincerely wish all the like-minded a Merry Christmas and a good start to the new year.

    Janosch
    Read more

  • Day114

    Asia & Polish village Polonezköy

    August 27, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We are still tired today and leave Istanbul very late. Even though we take the tram to the last station, we cycle a one hour along the Bosphorus to finally leave the central part of this gigantic city. We pass some nice villas. Ahmet recommended us to take the boat to the other side, so we enjoy to travel to the Asian continent on the water.

    Directly on the other side, it leads up the hill so steeply (20%?), it is impossible to ride. So a lot of walking and sweating changes with great panoramic views and small villages with a lot of fruits and vegetables. The black fig trees just get ripe and pomegranade trees grow here as well. Both are fresh absolutely delicious.

    By chance we end up at Marias place in Polonezköy. The village is a polish enclave in Turkey. Maria is 74, runs a pension and speaks perfectly German. The village is based on polish ancestors, is mainly catholic and they eat pork. We learn about the history and how her relatives have build the village from nothing after fleeing the war. Once, her sister even danced with Atatürk. We even get a tour by the mayor (relative of Maria) in his private museum. Very interesting :)

    Goal for tomorrow: Back to black...sea
    Read more

  • Day129

    Hamam

    September 11, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    From Samsun, the very modern, clean, lively and big city, we pedal fast on the flat streets. A food stop at one of the local food restaurants and a nice break at a beach area in Terme and we almost arrived at Ünye. Another Çay and very nice conversations with a family from Witten and we arrive in one of the oldest cities in Turkey. Ünye is known for its small old streets in the city center. It starts raining and Jo is going to the local Hamam which is open for men only today.Read more

  • Day133

    Breathtaking mountains

    September 15, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    This day has changed my view of Turkey. Here is why. We organized us a rental car in no time and went to the famous Sümela monastery first. It hangs in the rocks. The Greece Orthodox monastery was founded in the 4th century, it was abandoned in 1923 after the creation of the Turkish Republic and the ‘exchange of populations'. It is now a tourist magnet and recently under construction.

    We follow the road up the hill to a village. We feel like we moved to Mongolia and enjoy Köfte, salad and tea facing this view. We move further up and up the serpentines and need so stop every minute to take a picture. It looks so impressive! The mountains are 3.040 metres here and the pass is small. It is 11° only. We plan to go down on the other side and hit a real street there again.

    We take an old men with us who is hitchhiking :) He wanted to go to the next village to drink çay with his friends. So, we join for one tea and they show us the Orthodox church in their village where the cross can still be seen in the stone but it a mosque tower was added.

    It takes forever to drive down. When it is already dark, we take a girl and a woman hitchhiking with us. They want to buy eftek (bread) at the next bakery. It feels as Turkey must be really safe when women hitchhike in the dark somewhere in the mountain villages.

    I wished to have a drone to catch more of these breathtaking views. Turkish mountains are definitely a must! And they are worth the trip in itself. So, my view of Turkey has adjusted even more to the positive than before!
    Read more

  • Day109

    Crossing boarder to Turkey

    August 22, 2018 in Turkey ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Bye Bulgaria! See you hopefully soon. After a long and hard ride up the hills (all day 107km and 1.950m height!!!!!) trough the dense Bulgarian forest with again - a lot of flies - we arrived in Malko Tarnovo.

    It's a sleepy, lovely town with decreasing population next to the Turkish boarder. We eat the last Shopska salad while talking to a nice Finnish guy. He was a happy to have a small break from his Bulgarian wife's family ;) The boarder control takes only 5 minutes and we are in Turkey!

    First impressions:

    - No flies, no forest
    - Awesome streets, broad, straight, no holes
    - Car drivers greet a lot
    - New max speed Wi: 78km/h
    - A shepherd gives us fresh berries from Rhus Coriaria bush
    - We have a coffee and a cake for less than one Euro
    - Hear the first calls for prayer by the nearby mosque
    - unpronounceable language: teşekür ederim = thank you

    We are looking forward!
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Republic of Turkey, Türkei, Turkey, Turkye, Tɛɛki, ቱርክ, Turquía, تركيا, ܛܘܪܩܝܐ, Türkiya, Турцыя, Турция, Turiki, তুরস্ক, ཏུརཀི།, Turkia, Turska, Turquia, Turecko, Турци, Twrci, Tyrkiet, Tırkiya, Tɛki nutome, Τουρκία, Turkujo, Türgi, ترکیه, Turkii, Turkki, Turkaland, Turquie, Turkije, An Tuirc, તુર્કસ્તાન, Turkiyya, תורכיה, तुर्की, Turkowska, Törökország, Թուրքիա, Turchia, Tyrkland, トルコ共和国, თურქეთი, Uturuki, Түркия, Tyrkia, ទួរគី, ಟರ್ಕಿ, 터키, तुर्किये, تورکیا, Turki, Turcia, Tierkei, Ttake, Törkieë, Tiliki, ຕຸນກີ, Turkija, Tuluki, Turcija, Torkia, Турција, തുര്‍ക്കി, တူရကီ, Thekhi, Törkie, टर्की, Turtchie, Turkanmua, ତୁର୍କୀ, Турк, Turkiya, Turkie, Turcja, Turkya, Tirchia, Turukiya, Turchìa, Durka, Turukïi, තුර්කිය, Turčija, Turkiga, Turqia, Турска, Turkiet, துருக்கி, టర్కీ, ประเทศตุรกี, Türkiýe, Toake, Türkiye, Төркия, تۈركىيە جۇمھۇرىيىتى, Туреччина, ترکی, Thổ Nhĩ Kỳ, Türkän, טערקיי, Orílẹ́ède Tọọki, 土耳其, i-Turkey

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now