WOW, how time has flown! Can’t believe we were in this incredible place back in October. Take a trip with me through Turkey, as it’s on my list of TOP 3 countries I’ve ever been able to experience. Absolutely beautiful! The most kind hearted people which means our most successful couchsurfing experience EVER – we only booked one night in accommodation the whole time we travelled through!
We arrived in Kusadasi after a quick trip from one of the closer Greek Islands, straight into the craziness of that small port town and through the mall area to find our carpet salesman and CS host Taylan. Super nice guy and lots of downtime for us all chatting and drinking copious amounts of Turkish black tea and/or strong homebrew Turkish liquor.
From there we travelled to the ancient ruins of Ephesus…
We travelled directly east in search of the small town of Sarayköy near Denizli. We met our next CS host Beytul (an english teacher in a local school) and his mother who fed us amazing home cooked traditional food. The small town life was a unique experience and we were also talked into hitchhiking for the first time. Our plan was to get to Pamukkale, the ‘cotton castle’ but it was a bit of a mission as the local public transport took a large degree of effort to understand. We were told the best bet was to wait just off the nearby highway, on the quiet country road for a farmer to pass by and give us a lift through the cotton fields. Beytul had said that ALL of his couchsurfers got to Pamukkale by hitching this way. 100% success rate! Yes, we had success too, but best you ask us to tell you the story instead… it started with our first ever lift being an armed police van doing a routine patrol of the area, 3 not so talkative turkish guards, and a few machine guns and stab wounds thrown in the mix. All ended well.
We arrived at Pamukkale and spent the entire day walking around the world heritage site, then spending the afternoon trying to get home. It was one of the most unique landscapes i’ve ever seen. You’ll see why.
And the best part about hitching home… we got about 6 lifts and walked throughout farming villages and small towns and got to experience places that no one normally stops in to see.
Cappadocia, in the Anatolia region of was one of the highlights of Turkey, even though the entire country was incredible. We based ourselves in Goreme with a whole bunch of other CS’ers in Ahmet’s house, but spent most of our days hiking the exceptional natural wonders and landscapes surrounding the main tourist hub, including Red Valley, Rose Valley, Love Valley, Ihlara Valley, Monastery Valley, an underground city, and all the fairy chimneys carved out rock formations. There is a great deal of christian history throughout the region too, and we were able to see monasteries and churches, and houses carved out of the soft rocks and decorated with interesting murals.
That’s it for now. There will be more photos from Turkey to come in another post 🙂