Author Topic: Turkey Trip Report  (Read 6536 times)

Offline Suave

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Re: Turkey Trip Report
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2018, 12:33:28 PM »
Hey,

Iím looking to go to turkey for a couple days, Pamukkale has been on my bucket list for years!

How long do you think is enough time to spend there? Iím looking at spending a couple days in IStanbul and fly in to Denizli as flights are super cheap
You only need a few hours in Pamukalle. 2-3 days is more than enough for Istanbul. Have you considered the other places I mentioned in the OP?
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Offline tmendy226

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Re: Turkey Trip Report
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2018, 04:15:16 PM »
You only need a few hours in Pamukalle. 2-3 days is more than enough for Istanbul. Have you considered the other places I mentioned in the OP?

I will probably be arriving Sunday early early morning and leaving Thursday early morning of that week so I have 4 days. I was thinking to take an early morning flight Sunday morning and go to Denizli/Pamukkale right away, come back that night or the next morning and then spend the rest in Istanbul
I donít want to be too rushed but I donít want to be bored either :) what do you think?

Offline Suave

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Re: Turkey Trip Report
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2018, 05:30:48 AM »
I will probably be arriving Sunday early early morning and leaving Thursday early morning of that week so I have 4 days. I was thinking to take an early morning flight Sunday morning and go to Denizli/Pamukkale right away, come back that night or the next morning and then spend the rest in Istanbul
I donít want to be too rushed but I donít want to be bored either :) what do you think?
If it's a flight from the same airport (without you having to check in to hotel etc first) then yes...makes sense. If you are the adventurous type, consider renting a car one of your Istanbul days and driving out of the city...
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Offline tmendy226

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Re: Turkey Trip Report
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2018, 12:39:44 AM »
If it's a flight from the same airport (without you having to check in to hotel etc first) then yes...makes sense. If you are the adventurous type, consider renting a car one of your Istanbul days and driving out of the city...

Yes this is the plan obviously. transfer at IST

Where do you advise to go by car?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 01:03:19 AM by tmendy226 »

Offline kosherjid

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Re: Turkey Trip Report
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2019, 12:55:37 PM »
Planning to go to R.C.Palagi in two weeks.  Is it safe ?
Will be staying in Istanbul.  Would be grateful for any tips.
What to do in Istanbul. I'm interested in jewish history, Architecture, scenery, the genuine stuff.


We landed in IST - Istanbul

First order of the day was a much deserved coffee while we checked out all the car rental desks on the 1st floor and purchased a Turkcell sim card (35 TL for sim card, +40TL for an hour of international talk time, +40 TL for 4gb Internet)

We rented a car (Hundei i20) in the airport for 90TL - The lot attendant asked for "bakshish" (tip/bribe) for inspecting the car and marking damages. We made sure he wrote down EVERY single scratch, burn mark, tire wear, etc. and gave him 10TL. P.S. We were quoted much higher prices due to the beyram holiday - which finished that day - we bargained hard & won)

We filled up our tank (very expensive - up to $90 per tank on a tiny car) and set on our way.

Many good highways are toll roads which you cannot pay in cash You need to have an OGS or HGS pass which should be provided by the car rental) Make sure your tires have good treads as many of the mountainous roads are slipper even when dry.

Many roads have speed cameras, yet we were averaging 160kmph without ever getting a ticket. There are several checkpoints as well, but they mostly waved us through as I look turkish - when we were stopped I showed my US passport and was sent on our way) We covered 2699km total.

Cities we visited:

Izmit
Nice waterfront but mostly industrial city. We had tea by the water and davned mincha

Yalova
We spent the night in a family resort, we spent $15 per night per room (They misunderstood us and gave us 2 rooms instead of 2 beds - win)
Not much to see in this town, condensed streets, nice park etc

Bursa
Has a nice shul called Mayor Synagogue

Akhisar
A small city on the way to Izmir, We stopped here because google told us there was an old Jewish Cemetery there - We found 150 year old gravestones there with Hebrew inscriptions.

Izmir
We made it here just in time for Chag, We found the shul after a lot of searching. Sharei Shomaim is an unmarked building with a security booth in the front. Officially there are 9 Shuls in Izmir, but we found that most were closed.
We stayed at the Volley Hotel for $100 per night - We got upgraded to a gorgeous suite due to a mistake I pointed out on booking.com
After chag we went to the Kevarim of Rav Chaim Pallagi, Baal Shevet Mussar, Chacham Hazzan and some others. The caretake was friendly and knew a lot. The mikveh there was closed unfortunately.

Marmaris
A small picturesque seaside city in the south. Was nice. We did a day safari on jeeps. We had drive by watergun fights with other jeeps - was a lot of fun, even for adults.

Pamukkale
Absolutely a MUST do. Mineral pools that you can swim in. See links for more info


Denizli
A medium sized city not far from Pamukkale - we spent the night there.

Cappadocia
A gorgeous area with lots of man made caves and interesting rock formations. a hot air baloon here is highly recommended.


Antalya
Another seaside city, Full of Russians some half decent attractions.

Kemer
A small seaside resort village. Nice watersports (I did fly board again here)


Istanbul
Nice size Jewish community, some interesting historic sights. Bosphorus bridge is one of the only places where you can cross 2 continents by car. The grand bazaar was fun.

My views on Turkey
All in all we had a great time, Many highways & roads offer amazing views. The people in general are friendly but unfortunately we saw lots of negativity as well. We had no problems wearing kippas in public although it is not recommended. I considered it to be relatively expensive compared to most other countries I have visited this year alone (about 28 or so). I do not plan on ever returning here.
Turkey is a good destination for those that enjoy Roman ruins or Jewish History. Not for those looking for a cheap vacation. We have bumped into several attempted scams - but we know better.

Useful Links
Jewish Sites
Wikitravel

Exchange Rate (at time of writing 10/28/14)
1 US Dollar equals 2.22 Turkish Lira

This is an abbreviated trip report - if you have any questions, feel free to ask