Next door to Europe

by Pat

For a tourist, Europe offers so many choices. All of them are interesting and worthwhile to visit, especially if money isn't an issue. Unfortunately, I am a budget traveler so I have to narrow my choices down to one or two locations.

Turkey is my top pick and I hope to go there in a few months from now. It looks so beautiful in the tourist books. I have a lot to learn about this country - its culture, foods, the clothing, traditions, languages. But that’s the best part of traveling to a different part of the world. Everything will be different.

It‘s interesting to know that Turkey is situated within two continents, Asia and Europe. I can imagine how the cultures must blend together there. I can hardly wait to be standing in a place where I can see traces of ancient civilizations mixed in with modern tourist attractions.

I am reading about where to go in Turkey. In Istanbul there is the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome, the Bosphorus cruises, and the Grand Bazaar. The section in my guide book about “Cappadocia” and fairy chimneys is fascinating. Nemrut Dagi sounds rather gruesome though. It is supposed to be mountain top that is scattered with huge decapitated heads.

I can’t imagine what it will feel like to walk around the streets of cities that are 2,000 years old. Even their names, for example Busra and Pergamum sound exotic. It brings back memories of my Ancient Civilization course in college. Little did I know that 30 years later I would be continuing my history education!

The tourist guide books all recommend that you travel to Turkey either April- June or September- November. Those times are not great for my schedule, but if I go in June, I might be able to tack on a stop in Europe somewhere, maybe Greece. Wish me luck!

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