Why Turkey is next on my list

Blame it on the book I’m reading (Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul) or the interest in seeing the cultural impact of it being in both Asia and Europe, but I can’t deny that I’m completely smitten by Turkey.

Now before you think that it’s just another country in the Middle East, let me show you this:

Fancy a fairytale?

No, it’s not from a page of a fairytale. It’s captured in Turkey’s very own fairy land – Cappadocia. Fly up high and admire the view from a hot air balloon or if that’s not your cup of tea, you can stay at any cave hotel, which are neatly nestled in one of the regions many caves. You can also satisfy the adventurer in you with a hike through many of the suggested walks and trails.

There’s another sight in Turkey that will completely blow you away:

Is it snow? Is it cotton? No they are bathing pools!

About 530km away from Cappadocia, lies the beauty of Pamukkale, the travertines of which has been used as a spa since the second century BC. The history buff in you would also love the nearby ancient city of Aphrodisias, which contain some of the most impressive Roman ruins in Turkey. Named after Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, the area is just perfect around sunset.

And how can you leave Turkey without exploring the city that bridges Asia and Europe? Truthfully, I haven’t done my research around what to do in Istanbul, because Cappadocia and Pamukkale have been reason enough to visit the country. But ever since I started reading the book, I feel the urge to sit on the bank of the Bosphorus or meander down the roads Pamuk speaks of and truly experience what happens when East meets West.

For the foodie in you, I’ve also drawn up a list of delicacies that have made my mouth water by just reading about them:

  • Adana Kebab:  Best in southern Turkey, the meat must be from a male lamb no older than a year, must be hand cut and mixed with the right spices.
  • Testi Kebab: Sealed and cooked in earthenware pots, the waiter will crack the pot before leaving you the enjoy the stew.
  • Borek with Ayran: Flaky pastry stuffed with cheese, meat, vegetables and herbs. Served best with Ayran (similar to India’s chaas)
  • Lahmacun: Simply put, its a Turkish pizza with a variety of toppings.
  • Manti: Little dumplings of ground beef or ham in egg pasta.
  • Doner: Does the word shawerma ring a bell?

Güle, güle ve afiyet olsun!

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