Now that were leaving Turkey, I thought I’d share some random little observations we’ve made along the ways, along with some random instagram shots.
Turkey has amazed us in many ways, and it’s a country we would recommend to anyone.
Travel throughout western Turkey has been incredibly easy – their bus system is comfortable with air conditioning, TV, WiFi, and nice views. What has been the most suprising is that somehow you always end up where you need to be without any question: we were always shuttled for free from the bus stations to wherever our final destination was, which saved us much stress and extra costs.
Overall, the country is quite cheap compared to home: we spend around $6 at most on dinner (including drinks; and this is not at street stalls where you could eat for much cheaper) and around $2 on lunch. Even the buses and tours cost much less than would be expected in Canada. People are friendly & helpful, and this area feels very safe.
If only the language weren’t so challenging for me to learn and speak!
I asked the girls what surprised them most about Turkey, and everyone immediately said the food. Myself included, we all somehow had the assumption that the meals would be heavy and centered around the meat. However, the meals have been healthy and incredibly fresh. The girls also mentioned the landscape – which has been quite varied – but I suppose you could expect that in such a large country.
Here are some random thoughts we’ve had along the way, or questions people have asked from home:
- Atop the spires of every mosque across the country are speakers that play a recording of the Call to Prayer 5 times each day. The sound fills the town for a few moments and its hard to do almost anything but enjoy the sound in silence. Even when we were on our cruise with the boat anchored in the sea, we could hear the call coming from the nearby towns.
- People here love to guess where you’re from. No one has ever guessed Canada, but what we get the most are Australia or Germany. To our suprise, when they find out we’re Canadian, they always clarify if we’re Canadian or Canadienne. It makes me wonder how many times Canadian tourists must make this distinction while traveling? I didn’t know that was a thing.
- They don’t really have hostels here (other than in Istanbul) so we stay mainly in guest houses – or what they call “pensions”. They’re great because you get a private room, bathroom, and breakfast for a pretty affordable price. We’ve been paying around $10-17 per night for rooms like these.
- Traveling in 6 has been remarkably easy. Our family and friends seem to think that there would be difficulties with such a large group, but it’s been quite beneficial. We can get multi-person dorm rooms to ourselves in hostels, split food and drink costs between many more people, purchase our own buses to travel between places because of the number, and there are enough people to divide into groups and do separate things if needed! It has been wonderful.
- Did I mention that at nightclubs you often get fresh fruit & nuts at the table? Fancy. At home this would never happen as the tables are perpetually covered in alcohol or worse…
- When driving along the highway, we noticed a little restaurant where a hose was tied to a tree with water pouring out. I thought it was for the little children to cool down, but then we watched cars drive off the road and under this hose and merge right back on. An “on the go” carwash perhaps?
- Toilets here are still a mix of squatter and North American. But here, you can’t throw toilet paper in either one. We’ve gotten so used to this that we got to our room in Greece and couldn’t decide what to do. Do we still keep using the garbage can?
But in the end, there is much more of Turkey to see and I’m sure we have only sampled a small part; however, it’s been very enjoyable and I look forward to the day I come back. A vacation house along the coast maybe? I can dream…