Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Turkey: Wonderful Place for a Vacation

My wife, Jane,  and I just returned from a trip to Turkey. From our modern boutique hotel in Istanbul to a cave hotel in Cappadocia, to four nights on a gulet (traditional Turkish sailing yacht) traveling among ruins-filled islands off the Mediterranean coast, we had a wonderful time. A lot of Americans who visit Turkey do it as part of a tour. Invariably, they wish they had more time in one spot or another. We planned our trip ourselves with the help of Fodor's Turkey guidebook and the Internet. We didn't see everything -- but we saw much of what is unique to Turkey. Among the trip's many pleasant surprises was the friendliness we encounted everywhere. Turks seem to like foreigners and like to talk about their culture and country. The food, especially the seafood in Istanbul and on the coast, was also a revelation. There's much more than kebabs to be had -- though they're good, too. Try the fish sandwiches (about $2) from the floating fish grillers at the foot of the Galata Bridge. Grilled octopus salad, smoked eggplant and other treats are widely offered as mezzes -- appetizers or small plates.