Turkey is our choice for this year's spring adventure. In past trips we covered what we think are the most interesting parts of the country - Istanbul, of course, Cappadocia and the Mediterranean coastal towns. This time, after a couple of nights in Istanbul at our favorite budget hotel, the Side Hotel in Sultanahmet, we'll spend time exploring the mainly Kurdish towns in Southeastern Turkey along the Syrian border, then end the trip in Izmir and Selcuk on the Aegean coast to see the Greek and Roman ruins at Ephesus.
I don't know anyone who has been to Turkey and doesn't want to go back. I was looking through and old guidebook, and out fell a clipping of a story I did on our first trip to Istanbul 10 years ago. The city was so fascinating, and so cheap, I wondered why it wasn't on the radar of more American travelers. That's changed of course. Americans have discovered Turkey. Rooms at the Side, which I wrote about 10 years ago, were $35 a night then. They're $100 now, but still good value, considering the location across from the Four Seasons and a few steps from the Blue Mosque.
The Turkish culture, food and people are drawing us back. In looking for new areas to explore beyond the beaches and usual tourist areas, we had in mind somewhere with a little edge, a place just hard enough to get to (Not really, trains, buses and planes go everywhere) to make the journey interesting. We settled on the towns in upper Mesoptamia, the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers where Western civilization got its start. Click here for a link to my Travels in Turkey blog.