Pamukkale in Turkish means "cotton castle" and it has become a major tourist attraction. This happened because the natural mineral springs were developed into mineral baths which then develop into a tourist magnet.
There is much beauty in this town which is so gifted with natural treasures. A few years ago the area was honored by being designated a world heritage site.
During the reign of King Mithridates there was a major emphasis on the art of sculpture. Much of this unique work is still visible on Mt. Nemrut. Mostly they are the heads of the important people of the time. An outstanding illustration of the extraordinary beauty of this body of work is the head of Antiochus at the West Terrace.
So things didn’t start out so great. We decided to go straight to bed which was harder than it sounds as we had no light. But we managed it all ok. Everyone was in good humor. In the morning the power was back so we knew the vacation wasn’t ruined. We all were able to have a good time sitting by the pool with a free bar, going to the beach with was practically outside the door of the hotel.
Nearby was a great water park which we all enjoyed. We especially liked the fact that the park was situated on a high hill so the slides were very tall and fast. The reason we decided to go to this resort was because it was all inclusive and, as there was 10 of us, this was the best deal possible. Also we were right next to the beach and within 10 minutes taxi journey from the water park which we all loved.
We stayed for almost three weeks in the home of family, so we didn't have the burden of hotel fees. This, of course, made our vacation very very affordable! We stayed in an area called Fatih, which is a more conservative than other touristy areas, but it gave the visit more of a traditional feeling.
While in Istanbul, we visited numerous museums and sites including: The Archaeology Museum of Istanbul (my personal favorite of the several museums we visited during our stay).
My favorite dish was called karniyarik, which is eggplant stuffed with ground beef, onions, and red pepper paste. Served next to a bed of rice and with various side dishes, it was delicious! So, for anyone interested in learning more about world history, meeting people of other cultures, and eating great food, I highly recommend Istanbul.
"Tea" usually includes a special type of brewed tea served with sugar in a small glass cup. It also often includes some excellent and tasty sandwiches, tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweets. If you go to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, the merchants will also often invite you to drink tea.
It seems to be part of the selling process. They want to sell you something, but they also like to get to know you a bit. They can be very creative with their sales pitches to get you to come into their stores and almost all of them speak at least some English.
Another interesting spot is the Blue Mosque. The Mosque's interior tiles are blue, so that is what gives the mosque its name. It's free and you can enter as long as it's not during the "Call to Prayer" times. It has six minarets and many domes that seem to cascade down.
It's a must see if you visit Istanbul. One other fascinating spot in Istanbul is the Ayasofya (also known as the Hagia Sophia Museum). It was built in the sixth century and is still known for its innovative architecture! The day I was there, they discovered another angel that had been painted over... they keep finding new things as they renovate it. The Blue Mosque and the Ayasofya are across the street from each other. It's possible to walk to the Grand Bazaar as well, but I would suggest taking the tram.