We’re Off to Turkey!

Turkey_photos(To get right to the blog posts, just scroll down.)

A group of 19 Penn State travelers had a wonderful experience together in Turkey during the spring of 2011. Our adventure lasted more than two weeks and took us to some amazing sights—from Istanbul’s famed Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Spice Market, to the ruins of Ephesus, to the turquoise waters of the Turkish Riviera. A dozen members of the group stayed for three extra days to experience the beautiful, other-worldly region of Cappadocia.

The “Legendary Turkey” trip was organized by the Penn State Alumni Association in conjunction with Odysseys Travel. With our Odysseys trip director, Gökhan Özağaçli, guiding us, we visited Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, and more—and spent four glorious nights on Turkish yachts called gulets off the country’s southern coast. Over the course of the trip we climbed on ancient ruins, sampled Turkish tea, and took hundreds of photos.

We updated this blog daily during the trip, so that anyone could follow along in real time. Now that we’re back, you can read about the trip and enjoy it vicariously in one sitting.   —Tina Hay, editor

Here’s where we went, and the blog posts associated with each stop:

Istanbul
We visited here at the start of the trip. Sadly, we missed the Royal Wedding, but we were busy seeing mosques, museums, and markets, and taking a cruise on the Bosporus.

Gallipoli/Troy/Assos
Next we visited the ANZAC Beach Cemetery, linked to a bloody battle in World War I, before heading south from Istanbul along the Aegean coast. We checked out the ruins of ancient Troy, which was thought at one time to be a mythical city, but archaeologists discovered in the late 1800s that it really did exist.

Izmir
This is a beach city on the Aegean coast, and our headquarters for the next two days. Day trips took us to the famous ruins at Ephesus and to a carpet-weaving factory, among other sights.

On a Yacht!
In case we weren’t feeling pampered enough yet, we then spent four nights on Turkish yachts called gulets, exploring the beautiful Turkish Riviera and stopping along the coast to see such sights as the Baths of Cleopatra.

Antalya
Next we departed the yachts and visited Demre, home to the ancient ruins of Myra, then drove to the city of Antalya on Turkey’s southern coast. We spent two days checking out the Old Town, the Archaeological Museum, and the nearby ruins of ancient Perge and Aspendos.

Cappadocia
Some of our travelers headed home from Antalya, while the rest took an optional extension, traveling up to Konya (home of the Whirling Dervishes) and then to Cappadocia, a very photogenic region. Its rock formations look a little like Bryce Canyon and the rest of southwest Utah, and it also has churches and even hotels carved into its many caves—not to mention ancient underground cities.

Ankara
After leaving Cappadocia, we drove up to the nation’s capital, Ankara, and visited the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. After a farewell dinner, we spent one last night in Turkey, and headed to the airport for home in the morning.

Miscellaneous


A Daily Blog from France and Bavaria, July 9-19, 2010

Take a vicarious trip to Europe with more than 50 Penn State Alumni Association travelers. Penn Stater editor Tina Hay went along and sent back daily updates on their adventures—see the posts below. (You can start with the one at the very bottom—”A Trip to Oberammergau”—and it will lead you through each post after that in turn.)

For more details about the trip, see the detailed itinerary here. For photos, just go to The Penn Stater magazine’s Facebook page and click on the Photos tab. Enjoy!

Post-Trip

Oberammergau

Würzburg

Strasbourg

Paris

Before the Trip

For more this and other Penn State Alumni Association alumni tours, go to http://alumni.psu.edu/travel.

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