• Michael Knock

Why Turkey? Part 1.

Turkey is not always the first country people will think of for a vacation, holiday or experience. North & South America, Europe, Asia and some specific countries always place highly on any list of popular destination. Lately, Turkey has been in the news and not always in a positive way.

So why Turkey or a better question might be, why not Turkey?

When we first decided to travel to Turkey in 2001, we were looking for somewhere different and we sought suggestions from a travel agent and friends. Our travel agent, who had literally been everywhere except Alaska and Antarctica (‘cause they don’t have to give Travel Agents free trips there!), told us that the place where he always felt most at home and that he would always return to was Turkey. Friends told us that they had not been to a place anything quite like Turkey – how right they were.

When you start doing a bit of research on Turkey, you’ll read all the comments about Turkey is the country where Asia meets Europe, how it is the place where “East meets West” , that Istanbul is the city straddling continents and is the melting pot of the world. What they don’t (or can’t) tell you is that Turkey and Istanbul are places that need to be experienced to really understand what people are trying to say about them. There is no better experience to do this than just walking through Istanbul’s Grand or Spice Bazaars.

The Grand Bazaar comprises more than 4000 shops selling a mind-numbing array of goods and dates to 1455 whilst the Spice Bazaar sells an increasing range of foods, not only spices, and “only” dates to 1660. The experience with either Bazaar is not necessarily to shop but to look at what and how they are selling and let the history and geography of the place simply wash over you or flow through you. There are goods in varieties and quantities that you can’t imagine, goods that we read about in our history books and get mentions from biblical times, goods that make you wish you had access to a kitchen and could just cook with them.

to be continued.....

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