For a view of Turkey take a look at this wonderful collection of photographs taken by our very own Jacqui Stark. Kicking off in the powerhouse of the Ottoman Empire Jacqui has provided us with a glimpse of her journey, from the stunning Blue Mosque in Istanbul and poignant memorial sites of Gallipoli, to the legendary ruins of Ephesus and the thermal pools of Pamukkale.
If you’d like to hear more about Jacqui’s trip to Turkey, please email her at Jacqui@onthegotours.com.
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1. The city on two continents
Istanbul is the ONLY city in the world to be built on two continents, straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus. Founded as Byzantium, the city gained fame as Constantinople before becoming Istanbul.
2. Turkish coffee house
Drinking coffee here is an important social custom, and the thick, rich brew is delicious! Don’t forget to read your fortune in your leftover coffee grounds…
3. Waterfront city
Cruising on the Bosphorus provides a wonderful vantage-point for both sides of Istanbul. Many of the most beautiful and important buildings in the city were, unsurprisingly, built along the waterfront.
4. East meets West
Everywhere you look in this melting pot of cultures and history, there is contrast. Here, the modern utilitarianism of a taxi is juxtaposed against the timeless elegance of the Ottoman-era ‘New Mosque’.
5. The Blue Mosque
Properly named the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this astonishing structure’s colloquial name derives from the 20,000 handmade blue Iznik tiles adorning the interior. It simply has to be seen to be believed!
6. Aya Sofia
This building epitomises the history of Istanbul. First built in the 4th century as a Christian basilica under the Emperor Constantine, it was the world’s largest cathedral for almost a thousand years! It later became a mosque after the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, and then when Turkey became a republic after the First World War it was converted into a museum!
7. ANZAC Cove
An incredibly moving experience is visiting ANZAC Cove, where Australian & New Zealand troops landed on April25, 1915 to take part in the ill-fated Gallipoli Campaign of WWI.
8. Lone Pine
As the scene of some of the fiercest fighting Australian troops were involved in during the Gallipoli campaign, Lone Pine is now home to the Australian memorial at Gallipoli. Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded for actions during the battle here.
What a workout! Climbing the steps of the steepest amphitheatre in the ancient world sure does work up a sweat… but what a view!
10. The Library of Celsus, Ancient Ephesus
The ruins of Ephesus, one of the largest Mediterranean cities of the ancient world, are remarkably well-preserved. We wandered down the old ‘Main Street’, through the remains of bath-houses, shops & homes, marvelling at the civilisation that flourished here several millennia ago…
11. Turkish carpet being hand-woven
Turkish carpets can be woven from wool, silk or cotton, and comprise thousands upon thousands of tiny hand-tied knots. Some are true masterpieces, taking months to complete and commanding hefty price tags. Some of the best examples can be seen adorning palaces and mosques in Istanbul.
The Romans knew about the healing qualities of the thermal hot-springs here centuries ago, and built the city of Hierapolis above them. We had great fun wandering the ancient streets before taking a restorative dip in the ‘Cleopatra pool’, where the water bubbles up from the ground like champagne!