Why people love to travel to Turkey?
Read Gill's interview;
Tell us abit about yourself..?
I'm 35 yrs old, live on the Wirral (nr Liverpool) and have a wonderful 11 yr old daughter, Harriet. I love holidays and always feel that i deserve a holiday at the end of every half term (I'm a teacher). I love visiting new places, learning languages, meeting new people and eating good food. Harriet loves swimming and making friends on holiday. She also likes the beach whereas i prefer the pool.
What made you first decide to visit Turkey?
It was a bit of luck really. In 2004 i already had a week booked to the Canaries at the end of August and i wanted a fortnight away earlier on for the 2 of us and having searched for bargains we got a guaranteed 3* B&B in Kusadasi for £660! We were lucky enough to be allocated the Grand Onder with First Choice and that was the main reason for going to Turkey. Other than that i had no real reason not to go there as friends always raved about Turkey so i booked and thought 'why not give it a look for myself?!!'
Which cities have you visited in Turkey?
Other than Kusadasi, just Marmaris (and Icmeler) in October 2004. Of the two i have to say i prefer Kusadasi but maybe that's not giving Marmaris the benefit of the doubt - we were only there for a week and it was at the end of the season so maybe it is better in the height of the season. I know other people who rave about Marmaris. Icmeler was beautiful for the beach- such lovely views of the mountains and beautiful blue sky even at the end of Oct when it was raining back home!!! When we've been in Kusadasi the furthest we've ventured have been Adaland waterpark and Gold Sand beach (free taxis there and back from Redwood). I always feel guilty and think we should venture further afield but i'm a total sunbather and sightseeing in the heat isn't my thing..... I know i should see the historical sights (& sites!) being a History teacher, I promise i will one day.....
Would you like to visit again? If yes - What is it about Turkey that you love?
Yes definitely - and we were due to be staying in Kusadasi this May but the holiday company changed the dates of our flights so we had to cancel... but hopefully we'll be there again or elsewhere in Turkey in July/August this year.
I love the sun so Turkey is just perfect for me. I also love experiencing Turkish hospitality and walking around the shops and bazaars seeing the colours of Turkey and listening to the language of the people there.
Did you feel safe in Turkey?
Yes i did - but it's like everywhere you have to act in a responsible way otherwise you will put yourself in danger. We have left Bar Street after 3am and have walked to our various hotels feeling totally safe, far safer than back home. BUT having said this I did feel pretty vulnerable at the bottom of the hill on the way back to the Cankaya Hotel in August last year when an oldish guy was pestering me and tried to grab hold of me. From that night on (about 4 or 5 days left of the holiday) i made sure we got a taxi back to the hotel.
How were the Turkish people?
Really genuinely friendly and helpful right from early in the season (May) to the end of October when you would expect them to be pretty worn out and fed up of tourists!!
Some examples for you:
in October when my daughter broke her toe the service in the hospital was amazing - it was the town hospital and far better that we'd get here in the UK, we hardly had to wait or anything!! again in October in the Centrum i was looking for some pashminas to bring home. A guy outside one of the jewellery shops sent a worker to take us to a shop where we got a brilliant bargain! in May last year in Planet Yucca (our favourite restaurant) we had just sat down and a waiter who was serving another family rushed over to us as he'd remembered us from the previous summer! I have never experienced that kind of hospitality in any other tourist place before!!
Do you have any suggestions for new visitors to Turkey? Travel - tour tips? Can you recommend any specific places or advice?
Take plenty of suntan lotion - and high factors! Eat out in the Centrum, we love Planet Yucca and Gondol Restaurant (Ataturk blv). 2 cheap supermarkets in the Centrum - Bim (by Holiday Inn restaurant) and Tansas (by Yucca) Also go to a proper Turkish baths, we had a 'Turkish bath' of sorts in the Cankaya Hotel - not good!! Water parks - we had a fantastic time in Adaland in the summer of 2004! Something you must do - go on a dolmus, such a cheap way to travel around!!
At the airport when you arrive make sure you have plenty of drinks as there will be guys tryng to sell you cold drinks at a rather steep price and if you are new to Turkey and the YTL you could get seriously ripped off - not a pleasant start to your holiday!! Also on the transfer from the airport the coach driver may stop off at a 'service station' where prices again are meant to be pretty steep -notably on the long transfer from Dalaman airport to Marmaris!!
Can you recommend any specific places or advice
Probably already mentioned in other members' interviews but whatever you do -you must give Turkey a visit if only for a week or two. Who knows, you might fall in love with it - it really does have everything you'd wish for .... and more, there are so many surprises!! Go there with an open mind, you won't be disappointed!
And when you get home tell everyone about your experiences there - they will be jealous of course but will want to sample the delights of Turkey for themselves!!