It’s only been one full day in Turkey, and I’m feeling so, so glad that I decided to go on this trip. Today just reminded me that I still have so much I need to see in this world…with so few obligations tying me down, I should be traveling abroad more often.
And because I like lists…a summary of my experiences thus far:
1- Turkish Airways, on a Boeing 777 non-stop from Houston to Istanbul. Great food with a wide range of movie selections. Updated aircraft includes automatic faucets and mood lighting to match the sky outside. My only complaints are zero subtitles on movies (I have terrible hearing) and luggage handling. Turkish Airways has a weird system of unloading checked luggage; we had to wait for nearly an hour before ours came out and then, we discovered that one of our luggages was missing.
2- Kapadokya is a region of Turkey that contains a number of small cities known for it’s unique landscape. Parts of the landscape actually remind me of Arizona with plateaus of limestone and red rock. The number 1 industry in this region is tourism, so it is difficult to find out what the locals do around here. Most of the shops and restaurants cater to tourists. There are even a number of Korean restaurants here (i’m guessing a lot of Korean tour groups go through the region). Despite all this, I would say both the hot air balloon ride and Green Tour were worth it. It was a good way to see the landscape and explore the natural caves of Kapadokya.
3- The food. Lamb here is amazing! Turkey has actually changed my mind on 2 things I generally don’t love to eat: lamb and baklava. The lamb is tender without a gamey taste, and the baklava is just super flaky and crispy. And of course, the Turkish coffee: smooth.
4- The people. Everyone has been so genuine and nice. I haven’t run into anyone who isn’t willing to answer a question or push a product on to me. Of course, this may just be because everyone works in the tourism industry, but still. It’s really nice to be able to go up to a stranger on the street and ask a question.