Where East Meets West

Recently one of our own Van Zile Travel Agents vacationed through the beautiful country of Turkey. Cindy had a wonderful time and was generous enough to share some of her memories (and photos!) with us. Read her Q&A below!

What made you choose to travel to Turkey?

I have been to Istanbul & Kusadasi before, but my friend really wanted to go to Turkey, so we went!  We saw tourists everywhere and felt safe throughout the country.  It was also Ramadan the entire time we were visiting.  We visited the following:  Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia (which is an area not a town, kind of like the ‘Finger Lakes’ is an area), Pamukkale, Kusadasi, Canakkale, and Gallipoli.

What was the highlight of the trip? 

Definitely Cappadocia!  This area is like no other place I have ever seen!  Odd rock formations, cave dwellings that people used to live in, snowcapped mountains, and vast plains.

What did you feel was the biggest difference between daily life in Turkey and daily life in the US? 

That is a tough question.  Likely the historical buildings.  An example would be religious buildings like mosques, churches, etc.  The oldest building in Istanbul is from 462BC.  And with so many countries fighting for land over the centuries, Turkey has been in a prime location!  Part of Asia & part in Europe, it is certainly the center of the world, especially back millennia.

How was the food?

The food was AMAZING!  Many of the things Americans eat, like hummus, large salads, shish kabobs, and more are native cuisine in Turkey.  Of course, there were many things that are part of their daily meals are not seen on an American menu like Pide (which is kind of like a pizza without sauce, but you can put anything in a pide from eggs to meat to veggies).

What souvenirs did you bring home with you? 

OY!  I am not a typical souvenir person.  You won’t ever see me buying t-shirts, hats, etc. saying where I visited.  My house used to be a haven for souvenirs, but over the years I have narrowed my purchases to things that I can usually ONLY get at the destination I am visiting (like a Turkish rug, but not this time!), or jewelry that I can only get at the destination (yes, I did on this trip!), perhaps some clothing or a household item like a coffee grinder that I will use for grinding peppercorns!

Where would you like to go on your next vacation? 

This was kind of a vacation/educational trip.  Currently, I have my year of travel planned, which is odd for me.  My vacations this year are all ‘repeat’ destinations.  I don’t usually do repeats, but as everyone knows, you cannot see everything in one trip, depending on where you go.  So, the next is Australia for a conference, but the aim is to get to Western Australia (I have been to Australia twice already, but have not been to Western Australia!) The other is Morocco, which again, I have been to twice, but only coastal towns, so REALLY looking forward to Marrakech and the Atlas mountains.

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