I was married in 1987. My trip after the day of marriage was to Egypt. My wife and I liked Arabic countries. We planned to visit Turkey on summer 1998.
The trip in Turkey has left a lot of memories in my mind during those 15 days in August, 1988. I also remember that the cost of this trip was not much, about L. 1.150.000 each person (fly from Milan to Istanbul, hotels during all 15 days, guides, entry free to almost all museum, tour for 2.000 km by bus from Istanbul, Canakkale, Pergamo, Smirne, Efeso, Pamukkale, Antalya (7 days at the beach), Cappadocia, Ankara, and fly to Milan.)
The trip was organized by Turban (Tourism Bank of Turkey). It guaranteed that we were sure to get a good travel.
The first problem was the delay of the flight, 4 hours after the fixed time! (it was a charter) and 5 at the return.
The weather in Istanbul was warm, the museums were very interesting and some other places as Palazzo Topkapi, Golden Horn, Gran Bazaar, Moschea Blu, Bosforo, Museum Kariye etc were interesting too.
After we left Istanbul, we began the trip by bus for over 12 days. Temperature on bus was very high and there wasn’t any air-conditioner. We were tired, because every day there were so many things to visit.
When we arrived to the beach, we were very tired; after we drove about 600 km, we got a surprise: instead of the beautiful village at the shade of centuries-old pine woods that the brochure had promised, we found some small bungalows without trees, and as we were in the south, it was very hot and also sultry.
The final surprise was when we opened the small bungalow: two beds with nothing, a dirty bath and a grasshopper which had only one paw near the shower-bath. We were happy to stay there; we thought that we would spend a few nice days at the beach, but the problem wasn’t over!
Every evening before dinner, a tractor passed with a spray poison against mosquitoes, while the housemaid was preparing the tables and surely we were eating, while breathing the poison for mosquitoes which also flied during the daytime.
After the week at the beach, we had to face another long trip toward Cappadocia, 800 km away and still by bus. We saw a lot of churches, museums, beautiful places, most of them are in a good state after almost 3.000 years. The reason I think is the following: to build new things they need money and after Romans left, local population weren’t very rich and this is why nothing is changed in the strongly way.
When I visited Turchia in 1988, all was such a dockyard, everyone worked hard and a graduate was hired with less pay than a workman. Even though the trip was the worst, I must state that since perhaps the trip wasn’t well organized, Turban admitted that the level of the hotel wasn’t the same as that was declared on the brochure, they sent me L. 100.000 and did so to other travelers of the trip too. I have to admit that with some difficulty we couldn’t see many countries in the world; but for the countries we have visited, it shows that the situation is getting better and better.
One more thing I remember with pleasure is their friendship. Turkey’s inhabitants are very hospitable. They aren’t rich but they offer the few things they own. All Turkey is safe, except Istanbul, where there isn’t any robber, and everyone could leave their cars in the middle of the road and nobody will touch it! I have known a beautiful country. This is a good reward for a bad trip!