Been travelling a lot these days and my travel entries are definitely a big draw to my students.It's my way of promoting the tourists spots we have in the country.
I also make sure I ask about their travels.I often wanna know about their favorite destinations and I was surprised that many of them mentioned Turkey.I know that Turkey is far from the Philippines but you will be surprised to find out that there are Cheap Holidays to Turkey.
I wasn't really paying attention to them until recently when two students shared to me photos of their Turkey trip which blew me away.I am now more than convinced that Turkey deserves a better look.
Let me share to you the some of the places mentioned why they find Turkey as their favorite.
1.Hagia Sophia.---- If my memory and history books serves me right,this used to be an Orthodox Basilica.It later fell into the hands of of the Ottoman Empire and converted it into a mosque.If you could remember the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" ,you get a sense of how fierce the battle was between the crusaders and the Muslims in the control of Constantinople.The Cathedral used to be the largest in the world for more than a thousand years.I learned just recently that Hagia Sophia is now converted into a museum.This rich history and continuous transformation of Hagia Sophia makes me wanna see it.
2.Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque) ---heard about for the first time from my student.I researched a little about it online and I was surprised at how massive the mosque is.It is very popular among tourists and got its name from the blue tiles adorning its interior.It is a thing to marvel at according to one of my students but he personally thinks Hagia Sophia is better.When I asked why,he said, it's the feeling he got when he was inside the main domes of both mosque,he felt more crowded when he was inside Sultan Ahmed Mosque.I wanna see the difference myself.
3. Ancient Region of Cappadocia and Goreme National Park---away from historical city of Istanbul,inland continental Turkey,is a region which fascinated me the moment my students shared photos of their trip.In Cappadocia is Goreme National Park and rock Sites famous for its "fairy chimney rock formations".The photo I included above is that park.It is considered as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
My students said its a big area and the best way to see the expanse of the rock formations is through a "Hot Air Balloon Tour".Amazing!Must be a splendid sight indeed.I imagined myself riding the hot air balloon accross Goreme Valley.A natural wonder!.Tour packages usually include this and it is something that should not be missed.One of my students also recalled what he heard from his guide,that the area is where early Turk Christians hid from the religious prosecutions of the early days thereby carving the stones to serve as their houses.There are also stone churches in the park and a restaurant on the rocks.Flinstons?How cool can that be!
Pamukkale Thermal Pools
4. Ancient City of Troy.--while there's not so much to see here other than a few excavated walls of the old city identified as the site of the Trojan wall,it still is a stir to my curiosity.I watched the 2005 movie Troy starring Eric Bana and Brad Pitt,and although I don't see it as a 100% historical account of the event,it was in that movie that I was surprised to learn that Troy is actually part of what is now known as modern Turkey.Of course it has a new name too, Ilium.I wanna see those "Legendary Walls of Troy" myself!
5.PAMUKKALE Hot Springs---again,another surprise which blew my imagination.Pamukkale which means "cotton castle" is a natural site in Soutwestern Turkey famous for its hot springs and travertines.Travertines are terraces of carbonate minerals left by flowing water.These sedimentary rock deposits are mostly white like that or salt deposits (by the look of it on photos and the way my students described it).Omg!I wanna go naked here and bath in one of those terraces with hot spring water!
These were just the few tourist attractions in Turkey shared to me by my students,enough to excite my imagination.As I continue to research about the many attractions in Turkey,I get more and more convinced of how extraordinarily beautiful Turkey is.Take note,these students who I talked to and picked Turkey as their favorite are well traveled and they have seen Europe to prior to or after the trip Turkey but they still see it as their favorite destination.Cheap Holidays to Turkey are the key.I hope one of budget airlines would be able to fly to Turkey one day! :)