A HØWL Adventure in Turkey.
Where 2 continents collide: Istanbul
What's up you legends?
So me being the jammy git that I am had the fortune of spending 5 days in Turkey recently. Specifically Istanbul or "Insta-bul" and Cappadocia or "Captcha-docia".
Yep, that just happened, I went there.
It being a super whirlwind 4 day tour, I thought I'd share my top 5 things to do if you're short on time and long on adventure spirit.
So Straight off the bat, these are in no particular order but all are musts!
1. The Blue Mosque
Possibly Istanbul's most photogenic building was the grand project of Sultan Ahmet I (r 1603–17), whose tomb is located on the north side of the site facing Sultanahmet Park. The mosque's wonderfully curvaceous exterior features a cascade of domes and six slender minarets. Blue Iznik tiles adorn the interior and give the building its unofficial but commonly used name.
The mosque's architect, Sedefhar Mehmet Ağa, managed to orchestrate the sort of visual wham-bam effect with the mosque's exterior that Aya Sofya achieved with its interior. Its curves are voluptuous, it has six minarets (more than any other mosque at the time it was built) and its courtyard is the biggest of all of the Ottoman mosques. The interior has a similarly grand scale: the Iznik tiles number in the tens of thousands, there are 260 windows and the central prayer space is huge
2. The Spice Bazaar
So the Grand Bazaar, is good and all that...but a little to "touristy" for me. So I went off to find something a little more authentic and where the locals would go to grab what they needed.
And I found it, the Spice Bazaar was a wonderful mess of colour, smells and busy faces all hustling to try and grab your attention.
Constructed and formed in 1660 as part of the New Mosque and a way to generate money for the upkeep back in its heyday it would have been the last stop point for the camel caravans that traveled the silk roads of China, India and Persia.
Definitely worth the visit.
3. The Galata Tower
If you've got one night in Istanbul, this is where you want to watch the sunset from. With 360 views of the city and the setting sun in the West, you're in for one heck of a view.
Although it's 25 Lira (or something) to get up there please don't let it put you off. Constructed in 1348, it was the tallest structure for many centuries. Not much to say but WOW!
4. The Goreme National Park, World Heritage Site - Cappadocia
So now we've traveled 750km SE to the region of Cappadocia. So worth the trip!
Steeped in incredible history. This rocky landscape is honeycombed vast underground cities and exceptional examples of Byzantine art. (unfortunately lots you can't take pictures of) but this is what you can expect from the region.
This area became a religious refuge during the early days of Christianity, and was inhabited are early as 1800 B.C during the Hittite era.
If you've got any interest in religious history or just looking at breathtaking landscape - this places is for you!
5. Sunrise Balloon Trip over the Goreme National Park
So This wouldn't have been possible without the help of Travel Shop Turkey who hooked us up with Universal Balloon.
I can't really explain or tell you much about this other that you're up at 4:30am to head out to see something that at the time doesn't quiet feel real..
Hope these pictures do it some justice...
So that's it...
Well not quite, these are just a few of the pictures I took, I'll be uploading them to Instagram and Tumblr and no doubt Facebook too. So keep your eyes peeled and if you're not following us on those.. what the bloody hell you doing...
Obviously it's a massive privilege to be able to travel to these places and experience them with such incredible people.
I do have to remind myself sometimes that this is real.
Although this isn't a paid endorsement I do have to say a massive thanks to Travel Shop Turkey and The Turkish Tourism Board for making this trip happen and hooking us up with some awesome experiences.
If you want to see more head over to our YouTube page where I'll be posting a little video of the trip!
Let me know if you've been, what you've done and what you think of this little piece!
See you out there