Have you ever landed in a country and thought, ‘shucks, I wish I knew more about how I can get the best photographs while I’m here’? Well we have. And we decided we didn’t want you to suffer the same fate.
Having recently returned from a trip around Turkey, I feel somewhat qualified to discuss the merits of this spectacular Eurasian land. And let me tell you, spending two days on a boat cruising along the Mediterranean is definitely what any self-respecting traveller would define as a ‘merit’.
Sometimes in life, we’re lucky enough to do things that absolutely knock our socks off. Some of these things are adrenaline inducing, some are emotionally overwhelming and some are spectacularly relaxing. The aforementioned boat experience falls into the latter category. But you knew that already, right?
In its strategic east-meets-west location, Istanbul has attracted migrants and travellers for centuries.
Within the Fener and Balat districts, where the population is mostly rural immigrants, is a fabulous organisation receiving support through The Intrepid Foundation, and turning around the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Lest we forget” is our heartfelt pledge to all the people who have paid the highest price in defense of their country’s borders or beliefs.
Historic sites around the world are important reminders of what took place at less peaceful times. These war memorials help us understand what people were forced to endure and bring to life the tragic events of our past.
It seems many travellers either love or hate their hammam experience, but either way a tour of Turkey wouldn’t be complete without getting your kit off to try this local bathing tradition, as Margaret Morse explains…
“I asked Gaye about Turkish baths. She smiled and said that would be a great way to unwind from the air flight over. She phoned friends who knew where there was one open on a Sunday and made arrangements for us to go. I had been keen to go to one of these, but not game to go with a stranger, so I was very pleased she could take me.
With a history of human habitation that dates back over 400,000 years, Istanbul is the type of city where you could spend a lifetime uncovering its highlights and hidden charms. But what if you’ve only got one day, where would you start to explore this melting-pot of cultures and civilisations?…
8.30am – Dolmabahce Palace
After a quick breakfast head for the Dolmabahce to admire the sheer opulence while wandering through its gold and jewel-adorned rooms.
Sometimes when we travel we can take a turn that appears to be for the worse, only to discover that it eventually puts us on the right track. For Anthony Rishchynski it was a change in direction that resulted in one of his most memorable moments in Turkey…
“As the bus quickly scurries off into the dark of night, I start to think it may have been a mistake to get off. I’m in Tatvan, a small city on the western shores of Lake Van in Turkey; my aforementioned bus made a quick stop here at my request, before continuing on to its, and eventually my, final destination of Van.
As a holiday destination, we reckon the sea gets a bit of a rough deal.
Together with its buddies (lakes, rivers and bays), the ocean makes up 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Yet, when it comes to planning an adventure – the other 30 percent seems to get all the love.
So if you like to be near nice beaches, swimming pools and sea views, why not take that next step (or splash) and head for the high seas, low lakes and long rivers of the world on one of these epic aquatic adventures…
If you’ve seen the news in recent days, then you would know that in Turkey peaceful protests against the destruction of the last remaining green areas of Istanbul have been met by hostile and violent responses from police. While Intrepid travellers and staff are all safe and there is no risk of injury unless you go into these demonstration areas, we are very concerned that Turkish authorities have used excessive force to respond to a local protest. We’ve spoken today with Caglar from our Istanbul office for an on-the-street report…
“It started as a peaceful demonstrations in Istanbul against a government eager to demolish a public park in the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square. After that moment, thousands started to march Taksim Square but most of them could not get even close due to the attacks of the police force. The police used the Mass Incident Intervention Vehicle, tear gas and water cannons against thousands of protesters who camped out in the park to make their peaceful demonstration. This was happened for the three days. On Saturday afternoon police moved out of Gezi Park, but now police are getting more aggressive in Besiktas area. Believe or not, Turkish mainstream media does not show any of the incidents happening. Now, we need your help.”
Did you know that the Turkish word for turkey is hindi? The big gobbler is originally from the Americas or Indies, which caused the naming confusion with India. But in English we call the birds turkeys because they were introduced to Europeans by the Turks! If you think that’s confusing, then spare a thought for Kate Drummond when she tried to talk Turkey…
“You step foot in a new country eager to learn the local language – it’s simple right? Well, arriving in Turkey and trying to get the hang of the food, the customs and the history (wow, there were 3 great empires here and heaps of important sub cultures)… my language learning took a back seat! But then I started travelling and realised that a handful of Turkish words was very necessary!