Second Home Exchange in Istanbul!

Feedback from travelers recently returned from Turkey: what's good, what's bad, what they found

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Yentakvetch
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:41 am

Second Home Exchange in Istanbul!

Post by Yentakvetch » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:33 am

This time I will be in downtown Istanbul during July instead of way out on the Asian side. I cannot believe I have to deal with Ramadan again. I do seem to pick that time to travel to Turkey, but, when you have home exchanges, you go when you get them.

Thank you, Tom, for posting that information about having to get a Turkish visa online. I wouldn't have known otherwise. I assume there will be chaos as people try and board planes not knowing about it. My hunch is that they will end up doing it for you in the airport when you board.

I couldn't say "no" when someone offered me Istanbul again.


Yentakvetch
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:41 am

Re: Second Home Exchange in Istanbul!

Post by Yentakvetch » Fri May 09, 2014 9:47 am

Just a note as I prepare for my home exchange based trip which includes Turkey this year for the second time.

I want to thank Tom Brosnahan for this site. I am always recommending it.

My trip includes Krakow-Warsaw-Brest & Minsk in Belarus-Istanbul (side trip to Ephesus/Pamukkale with 3 nights in Selcuk)-Stockholm.

Everything on the trip is based either on home hospitality (Krakow) or home exchanges (Warsaw, Istanbul & Stockholm) except Belarus. My maternal grandmother's family is from 3 villages in SW Belarus so that is why I am going there. One of my hobbies is genealogy and it is so close to Warsaw so I will be seeing the villages of origin.

In Turkey the first time I went to Cappadocia and Edirne as side trips. This time I will be going to Selcuk for a 3 night stay to see Ephesus, Pamukkale and the Saturday market in Selcuk). I am flying Pegasus Air to Izmir back and forth (Sabitha Gochen Airport; take bus from Taksim Square). I will be doing the "Two Continents" Istanbul Eats tour and perhaps a cooking class with them as well. Last time I was an hour from the "downtown" tourist area. This time I am adjacent to the Galata Tower, so it will be much more convenient. I may take the one day trip to Gallipoli our of Istanbul as well or do it overnight by Turkish bus. I can decide after I get there for that one.

I am really excited about being in Istanbul for Bayram and hope to see people doing some major butchering. It is always so exciting to experience unfamiliar customs on trips.

I will be blogging the trip on my website: http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/ Photos always go up after I return, however. Hey, I never finished with the ones from the last trip, so I ought to put those up.

I do intend to take the Black Sea cruise again as well--which I loved. Insofar as Turkish ice cream/Turkish delight/ayran are concerned, I will skip those.

Yentakvetch
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:41 am

Re: Second Home Exchange in Istanbul!

Post by Yentakvetch » Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:12 pm

I am currently in Istanbul having survived my Turkish taxi ride to my home exchange apartment near the Galata Tower. If anyone is here and wants to get together, just post.

I do an Istanbul Eats tour on the 7th. Plans are to go to both Gallipoli (2 nights out) and Ephesus (3 nights out) during my stay.

Enjoy your trips to Turkey.

For updates on my trip, check out the blog:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/par ... -2014.html

Yentakvetch
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:41 am

Re: Second Home Exchange in Istanbul!

Post by Yentakvetch » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:26 pm

For my adventures in Canakkale, Gallipoli and Troy, please check here:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/can ... -troy.html

Yentakvetch
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:41 am

Re: Second Home Exchange in Istanbul!

Post by Yentakvetch » Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:28 am

Turkey was not great this time. If you've read the blog, you know the apartment I was in was burglarized. It was not a fun experience, but that is not why I am not planning any trips to Turkey for awhile. It's the politics.

This is what I had to say about it:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/som ... urkey.html

I am also going to post another link about my trip to Selcuk (Ephesus and Pamukkale):

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/thr ... kkale.html

Yentakvetch
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:41 am

Re: Second Home Exchange in Istanbul!

Post by Yentakvetch » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:59 am

OK, here is my blog post on my final thoughts on my second home exchange in Turkey. I have to tell you that all the antisemitic graffiti by the end of the trip was a real turnoff:

http://altecockertravels.weebly.com/som ... urkey.html

I had a lot more problems with the political situation due to Turkey's militant support of Hamas than I did with the apartment burglary I survived. The burglary can be blamed on one or two awful people--and there were two people who helped me and one will be a friend for life. The politics left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.

As much as I love Turkish food (best food in the world that I have tried so far), I won't be trying to return any time soon.

Happy travels wherever your travels take you--whether in Turkey or elsewhere.


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