My first travels after finishing highschool in 1986 took me to Turkey. My original plan then had been to transit to India and not so much travel in Turkey extensively. But as is so often the case, things changed, and in 1986 I spent nearly 3 month traveling across Turkey until my (anyways very limited) funds had been reduced to a mere 20 or 30 Dollars – just (but just!) enough to bargain my way back to Istanbul from Van in Eastern Anatolia, buy a transit visa for Bulgaria and hitchhike back to Northern Germany. It was not a comfortable trip – but it was also not the last one.
Having become somewhat obessed with ‘cold’ – both physical as well as metaphorical – I went on a trip to Eastern Anatolia in Winter 1987/88, and spent some weeks travelling in South-East Anatolia again in May 1988 – this time (finally) on my way to India.
Istanbul was not only my gateway from Europe (which I wanted to leave behind) to the Orient (which I felt very much drawn to), but a city that I fell in love with from the beginning and which in the late 1980’s I used as something like a base camp, and which after a gap of nearly 30 years I finally visited again in 2015 for 5 weeks and severeal times more since then.
And not just Istanbul. Having never been on the Turkeys Mediterranean coest Wets of Antalya the so called Lykian Coast between Fetiye and Antalya was a revelatioon when – on a whim rather, and to escape bleak Eaatern German winter in 2021/22 we stayed in several places along the coast for a couple of weeks each, exploring steep and wild coastal paths, (almost) empty bays and beaches and – of course – the ruined remnants of ancient Lykian towns which abound in the area.