We got to spend a day in Turkey and I loved it! I wasn't sure what to expect before we got there, but almost immediately I fell in love with it. The landscape, the people, the food - I loved it all!

The water was gorgeous!! According to our tour guide there are 72 million people in Turkey and 99% of them are muslim. The country is the size of Texas and grows a lot of cotton, olives figs and apricots. Istanbul is only 1% of the land, but 20% of the people live there. They have pretty moderate temperature year round. It is transcontinental - lying in both Europe and Asia. Women are as free as men and women can't cover their hair in government buildings.
Very beautiful scenery. I expected it to look something like Russia, but it looked more like Greece or Italy than Russia. Our guide told us that you can get a house in Turkey for not much money right now. Food and clothing are very inexpensive, but gas prices are extremely high - around $9/gallon, although most of it is taxes. Turkey really wants to become apart of the European Union, but hasn't been accepted yet.
Everyone was super friendly. If you are a girl and need an ego boost, just go to Turkey, you'll feel like the most beautiful girl in the world. They are extremely complimentary but not in a creepy or weird way - no staring or weird looks, they were just friendly and very nice. The Turkish people have very nice features themselves from what we saw - dark hair, tan skin and very light green eyes.
On our first stop we walked around a little shopping area and became friends with everyone. The men working in the shops were so friendly and gave us little presents for free. At first I wouldn't take it because I thought that if I took it he'd make me pay for it, but he genuinely was just being nice. Erin heard one young guy say, "You dropped something." She turned around and he said, "My heart." It was so funny.
Some words to know: Yes=evet, no=hayir, goodbye= allaha ismarladik, good day=gunaydin, how much=ne kadar, thank you=tesekur ederim, you're welcome=bir sey degil
I took this picture as we were driving around on the bus. We did an excursion and spent the day on a bus driving around and stopping at different locations. Our bus driver was incredibly informative and I learned so much listening to him talk about Turkey.
There were tons of little shops everywhere! They sold some really cool and pretty items though, unlike other countries whose souvenirs tended to be really cheesy.
There were quite a few stray, but very nice dogs around.
We had to find a McDonalds while we were there, it's tradition!
It took forever to find - this tent is not even near a McDonalds, but figured there had to be one close by. I tried asking for directions to one but the guy told me I talked to fast haha. Finally we found it.
I'm not sure if you can read it, but they have a McTurco with beef or chicken, McRoyal Menu and the Double KofteBurger. Awesome.
We also found a Burger King. The BK food in Turkey looks very different from the BK food in America!

Lots of bright colors everywhere.
This actually a map of Turkey. We stopped at a museum and this was there.
Here are a few pictures I took while at the museum.

A very old ampitheater. I really should know the name of this, but we saw A LOT of sights and I sometimes lose track of each sight's name and significance. But it's old and apparently important.

Turkey actually reminded me a bit of California. Rolling hills - some dry and some green, ocean view, bright flowers here and there.

I love Turkey! I'm wearing a little pin someone there gave me on my shirt.
Statue of Mary. They believe that they have found the location of one of Mary's houses here in Ephesus. The Pope even visited it.
It was so green!
Pretty bowls.
One of my favorite parts was at the end of the tour they took us to this big place that sold cool Turkish rugs. It was neat because I actually knew more than most people there about the rugs, because while in Bahrain I learned a lot about what makes carpets so valuable. My favorite ones are the ones that change colors depending on what direction you look at them. At this little demonstration they gave us food and drinks. We all had this delicious little pastry with ricotta cheese (I was hesitant at first, but it was good) and hot apple cider.

How ironic is this?
Bottom line - I LOVED Turkey! I want to go back there one day for sure! It was awesome!

1 Response to Turkey!

July 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Oh my goodness I totally have a picture of the same "genuine fake watches" sign from when I went to turkey 2 years ago! I loved it there, the whole country is beautiful and the people are so nice. And even though the women don't have to cover up, they do and it makes you stand out like a sore thumb being a white american with red or blonde hair huh? (At least thats how I felt, but we were there in March so not tourist season at all). And we went to the same rug shop between the entrances to Ephesus too. I wish you could have gone to Istanbul too! That city is amazing!

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