• 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery, Gallipoli

  • Menin Gate Last Post, Ypres

  • Rhododendron Ridge, Gallipoli

  • Tyne Cot, Belgium

  • Villers-Bretonneux, France

Turkey is Balloon-Filled Sunrises

By John Waller from Boronia Travel

As quite a few people have asked me about the holiday my wife Sue and I had in Turkey after attending the Anzac Day Commemorative Services in Gallipoli this year, I really wanted to add something to the newsletter this month.

We had such great group with us on tour this year, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Sitting around the Kum Hotel in the late afternoon sunshine having a few very sociable drinks and discussing the days touring, was very pleasant indeed.

After Anzac Day we attended the wedding of our Turkish son Cenk and his beautiful bride Belgin, with over 450 other guests. It was a fantastic night and a real privilege to be there.

Sue and I then drove down to Kusadasi, with a stop at Pergamum on the way. I thought the stop was worthwhile and an introduction to the history and sights we were about to see.

Of Turkey's hundreds of ancient cities and classical ruins, Ephesus is the grandest and best preserved. Indeed, it's the best place on the Mediterranean to get a feel for what life was like in ancient times. Truly amazing!

We then drove up to Pumakkale - a town in western Turkey known for the mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces on a nearby hillside. This is a very beautiful area but we were a little disappointed by the lack of water flow.

Next came a few days in a beautiful cliff side hotel overlooking the lovely village of Kalkan and it’s bay. Another stunning location with divine food, but oh the steps! Make sure you’ve got a good level of fitness to conquer them all!

Then we headed down to Bodrum, a beautiful town on the Aegean coast, with its magnificent castle in the harbour. The castle now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, one of the most important in the world.

Then onto one of our two major highlights, a small village on the coast, Ucagiz, with its crystal clear turquoise blue water. We stayed in a beautiful little pension on the water, and cruised out into the islands with a wonderful BBQ lunch on board.

We then drove onto Antalya for a few days. It was very lovely, although nothing compared to what was ahead…

The next stop was Cappadocia, which was like landing on another planet! Cappadocia is a geological oddity of honeycombed hills and towering boulders of otherworldly beauty. The fantasy landscape is matched by the human history here. People have long utilised the region's soft stone, seeking shelter underground and leaving the countryside scattered with fascinating cave-style architecture.

One of the most unique hotels we have ever stayed in is The Museum Hotel. Built from old stone houses and century old caves, it is just unbelievably beautiful, and includes a restaurant that serves the most amazing Turkish specialties.

Then it was onto the most unforgettable balloon ride over Cappadocia. This has to be the number one highlight of our travels.

I know many of you have done some of these sites and told me so much about them. I certainly agree that it is one of the most beautiful countries I have driven in. It is such a richly historical land with some of the best cuisine you will ever taste, scenery from beaches to mountains and the great city of Istanbul.

The coastal road was equal to Amalfi, Highway 101 in California, the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia, and even our own Great Ocean Road, if not better.

I strongly recommend this to anyone considering touring after our Anzac Tours, or any other time during the year.

If you have any questions about travelling to Turkey then please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 1800 035 350 or email battlefields@boroniatravel.com.au
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2 Responses to Turkey is Balloon-Filled Sunrises

  1. Lyn Algie says:

    John, what a wonderful trip you had and I can’t wait to see your photos. After travelling with you in 2015 I remember saying I would love to return to Turkey to travel the countryside. It was amazing the small amount we saw and the people were absolutely delightful. I would recommend this country to anyone.

  2. Tom Lambeth says:

    John. I cannot agree more with your comments on your trip around the ancient site of Turkey, including the Hot Air Balloon flight, it was amazing.
    I did the trip with my son in July 2008 and we enjoyed it very much, it was also the first time I had been to Anzac Cove.

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