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20th of July 2005 (Wednesday)

03.30 Departure from Zabrze to Balice Airport by minibus
06.30 Flight to Milan Malpensa Airport by Alitalia Express
Flight to Istanbul Ataturk Airport by Alitalia
In Istanbul travel by underground first to International Bus Station,
then to Aksaray.
Short walk along Ordu Street, then tram to Sirkeci Railway Station.
Ferry to Asian Shore of Istanbul, to Haydarpasa Railway Station, the terminal of internal trains.
Left our luggage at the ticket office (no charge).
Supper at Bosphorus shore, beautiful sunset.
22.00 Departure to Ankara by Anadoglu Expresi (the overnight train)

21st of July (Thursday)

07.15 Arrival to Ankara
Tourist Information Office in Ankara. We left our backpacks there and got a city plan.
Sighseeing: Ataturk Mausoleum (Anitkabir), entrance free.
16.30 Meeting our Turkish friend Sinem at railway station.
Taxi ride to her apartment.
There we met our another friend Ozgur and went for some beer and peanuts.
Very nice, homemade supper and comfortable sleep.

22nd of July (Friday)

10.00 Set out for more sightseeing.
Breakfast on a bench, at the feet of Kale (Ankara Castle).
We climbed to the top of Ankara Kale, found the ruins of the castle.
Walked through Ulus (the old district).
At the railway station we bought the tickets to Malatya.
18.00 Return to Sinem's apartment, very quick dinner (sausage on eggs).
Crazy taxi ride to the train station.
19.55 Departure to Malatya by 4 Mavi Tren (overnight train again).

23rd of July (Saturday)

12.00 Arrival to Malatya.
Dolmus trip to the city centre.
With some help from friendly Turks we found the Tourist Information Office in a tea garden.
Hippie-Turk took us for Czech people.
Later, we found Park Hotel, recommended by Lonely Planet.
Lunch - gozleme (local pancakes) and turkish tea.

24th of July (Sunday)

Bank closed because of Sunday, we had to use ATM machine to get some money.
Trip to Mount Nemrut, organised by the Tourist Information Office.
12.00 Departure from Malatya by minibus.
Spectacular views from the bus.
Arrival to the Gunes Hotel on Mount Nemrut.
Walk to the top.
Stone heads and "thrones of Gods".
We didn't stay for the sunset.
Supper at the hotel, quite good, although there was a fly in my soup.

25th of July (Monday)

04.00 Hotel staff woke us up for the sunrise.
06.00 Very early breakfast
Trip back to Malatya.
Mninbus to Elazig, then to Diyarbakir.
Local military force - Jandarma controlled our bus, they had some problems finding a visa in Jarek's passport.
A short break in a journey for a cup of local tea.
A lot of mess and misunderstandings in Diyarbakir: nobody spoke English or any other foreigh language.
Because of that mess we lost our Lonely Planet guide.
We did a lot of walking in Diyarbakir, swarms of children said "hello".
Our unsuccessful quest for our lost Lonely Planet.
Great supper: two doners for 2 liras.
We waited for our bus untill midnight, then set off to Van.

26th of July (Tuesday)

07.30 Arrival to Van's Otogar, then trip to the center of the city.
In Tourist Information nobody spoke English again, but we got a city plan.
We found the cheapest hotel possible - Tahran Hotel.
A short sleep was really necessary.
Then we decided to find the lake, but we found the Van Castle instead.
Local boy showed out the hole in a fence to get to the castle and demended some payment for this.
In the afternoon we visited the internet cafe.
Finally we found a very nice Pide Salonu (Turkish pizza restaurant) and had an extremely good dinner.

27th of July (Wednesday)

We went to find the Van Lake, which was quite unpleasant, because of the dirty beach/
Then we took a bus to Antakya, which was 2 hours late, so we had to wait at the Van's Otogar.

28th of July (Thursday)

05.00 We were woken up by the bus steward to change our transport to dolmus.
It was not very nice, cause the dolmus was crowded.
In Antakya (Hatay) we tried to find a hotel which would suit us, but it was
an unsuccessful attempt.
We visited the mosaic museum, which is one the the most interesting museums in Turkey.
Surprisingly, making photos was allowed there, so we made a lot of them.
We also filled in a questionnaire about the museum.
We decided to move on to Adana by bus, but first we ate a delicious simit (pretzel).
In Adana it was extremely hot and humid.
We found a hotel without much trouble - there were plenty of them.
In the late afternoon we set out to find the railway station and check the trains.
Instead of buying a train ticket (the connections were few) we went for a beer, which was
surprisingly nice, because we met Sado, the Turkish English teacher.
He took us to the park nearby the river, where we drank more beer and ate hazelnuts.
finally we went to a restaurant to try the famous Adana kebap.

29th of July (Friday)

It was one of the most interesting (and exhausting) days in Turkey.
We were sightseeing the easterm Mediterranean coast with Sado by his car
(we paid only for petrol).
We visited the ruins of Kanlidivane in a sizzling heat.
Then we saw the remains of the ancient theatre.
We were surprised by "the castle in the sea" (Kizkalesi).
But the most extraordinary moment was when we visited "Heaven and Hell"
(Cennet ve Cehennem) - beautiful, natural caves and ravines.
We ended up taking a swim in the Mediterranean Sea nearby Silifke
and eating a dinner with Sado.
In thge evening we took a bus to Afyon from Silifke.

30th of July (Saturday)

Our arrival to Afyon was a big surprise, because of an unexpectedly early hour (4 am).
So I slept for two hours on a bench at the bus station.
Refreshed we moved on to find a decent place to sleep.
Our hotel was in the centre of Afyon, and we got a room after some price negotiations.
Around 1 pm we started sightseeing Afyon, a lovely town with a lot of mosques and a unique,
calm atmosphere.
We climbed to the top of Kale (old fortress), then returned to the hotel, which was
quite difficult because of the complicated town plan (we got lost).
Our dinner was quite disappointing, but we comforted ourselves with sweet baklava and beer.

31st of July (Sunday)

After a long sleep and nice breakfast we decided to move on to the west of the country.
Before we departed, we managed to eat a delicious cherry cake topped with local speciality - cream.
12.00 We took a bus to Kusadasi.
It was one of the niciest bus journeys, mainly because of friendly and a bit crazy bus staff.
During a short break we had definitely the best and the cheapest doner kebaps in Turkey
(at Denizli bus station).
We arrived to Kusadasi around 19.00 and we had to find a camping site before the sunset,
which was at 20.00.
We managed to do it just in time to put out our tent.
The worst part of the day was when we met Polish people for the first time in two weeks, but ?I will
not comment on that topic.

1st of August (Monday)

We spent the whole day in Kusadasi and its surroundings.
First we went to see the town and we booked the Priene-Milet-Didym tour
The price was lower than advertised.
Later we realised that we left a cap in the agency, so we had to walk all he way back,
but fortunatelly we retrieved our cap.
Later we took a dolmus to the beach, wher we were swimming and sunbathing.
After returning to our camping we were swimming in a pool.
In the evening we ate an overpriced and small supper.
Our day was finished with some beer and nuts.

2nd of August (Tuesday)

The whole day was devoted to the "industrial trip" to Yatagan.
It's a small town where my father was working in the power plant 20 years ago.
We took some photos and travelled a bit further to Mugla, the capital city of the region.
It was very rewarding experience, and we had delicious dinner.
We were back in Kusadasi around midnight.

3rd of August (Wednesday)

Definetely a day to remember.
We took part in a PMD tour with the local tourist agency.
Our guides were fantastic - one of them spoke excellent French and the other one English and Japanese.
Firt we visited a bazaar (market) in Soke, where we bought some kofte spice.
The second stop was in Priene, an ancient Greek city.
The tales of our guide were really interesting.
The next stop was Milet - the highlight of a day.
It was another ancient Greek city, where Tales lived.
We also saw a very old mosque there.
Next, we had lunch in a restaurant nearby the Didym temple, and later we visited the temple itself.
Finally we went to Altinkum - "the golden beach" - in my opinion the best beach in Turkey.

4th of August (Thursday)

It was time to move on, so we took a bus to Bodrum.
The journey was not very comfortable, and we were worried about our luggage, because
it travelled inside the bus near the door, so it could fall out.
In Bodrum we got the adress of a camping site in Gumbet, but it was too expensive, so we
ended up in Gumusluk capming, which was not any better, but cheaper.
The water was full of algs and it smelled fishy.

5th of August (Friday)

First thing in the morning we left the unfortunate place.
Back in Bodrum was visited the Bodrum Castle and the Museus of Undrewater Archeology.
It was definitely worth seeing.
We localised another camping site near Bodrum, in Guvercinlik, and that was finally it.
The place was run by a grandfather, his grand sons and their aunt.
It was nice, quite place, with plenty of flowers.
Ever the dogs were nice.
We decided to stay there for a couple of days.
Additionally we discovered an excellent bakery.

6th of August (Saturday)

We went to Bodrum to buy our bus tickets to Istanbul in advance.
The differences in ticket price between bus companies were huge.
Then we finally managed to find the Mausoleum (one of the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World) or what was left of it.

7th of August (Sunday)

Another trip to Mugla - the town we really loved.
The day was cloudy and it actually rained, well at least a few drops had fallen.
We were shopping at the bazaar in Mugla and we purchased glasses for tea,
metal bowls, two pairs of socks and a lot of fruit and vegetables at very favorable prices.
In the eveninig we hed a supper (salat) with local wine (Sun of Ephesus).

8th of August (Monday)

It was a high time to spend a day relaxing at the seaside, and this is exactly what we did.
We wnet to Bodrum, found a beach which was clean for the local standards and swam a lot.
In the evening again we ate vegetable salad and drank Turkish wine.

9th of August (Tuesday)

Our last day at the Aegean Coast.
We spent our day swimming, sunbathing and even jumping to the sea from an amazing hight of
about 2 metres.
At 18.30 we left Bodrum heading to Istanbul by bus.

10th of August (Wednesday)

We arrived to Istanbul around 7.00, but it took 3 hours to get where we whanted to,
that is Aksaray District.
We found the hotel which was cheap and comfortable for the money we paid.
They even served tea for free in the lobby., and the room had a shower, air-condition
which worked very well, as well as a TV set and a fridge, that did not work at all.
In the afternoon we went to Sultanahnet - the heart of Istanbul and visited the Archeological Museums (plural).
They had the biggest collection of antiquities I have ever seen.
The supper was in the hotel, but satisfied us nevertheless.

11th of August (Thursday)

First thing in the morning, after breakfast of course, was the trip to the Ataturk airport,
to confirm our flight the next day.
It took us three hours, and we almost lost my Swii Army knife, because of the security measures.
Later we walked all the way to the Egyptian Market (Spice Bazaar) and spent as much as we could on
spices and sweet. We also bough a nice T-shirt.
Then, still walking, we reached the Fatih district, where we had our dinner in a restaurant we
remembered from the previous year. The food was just delicious.
Finally we walked back to our hotel, on our way we bought grapes and bread from the local bakery.

12th of August (Friday)

We packed our backpacks, said our good-byes to Istanbul, spent the last 5 liras,
and left Turkey by plane.
Alitalia served wine on board which was nice.
We flew to Milan and then to Balice Airport.

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© 2005 Iza and Jarek Miszczak Stat4U

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