Travelling Turkey – Our Favourite Posts of 2011

December is whizzing by and we’re careering headlong towards 2012, so we thought we’d do what everyone else does at this time of year and take a look back at 12 of our favourite posts of 2011; one for each month.

Sitting with notebook and pen and scrolling through the archives this morning, we soon realised there were too many posts to choose from. How do you choose a Turkish recipe over a fun day trip from Fethiye, a short break or a fantastic meal in Turkey? Well, we couldn’t! The solution we came up with is a 3-part mini-series; a celebration of 2011 before it disappears forever. Without any further ado, here is Part 1:

Travelling Turkey: Our 12 Favourites of 2011

There are a couple of cheats in this section as we couldn’t decide between posts for some of the months.

Antalya Harbour From Kaleiçi

Great views of the old harbour and Antalya city from Kaleiçi

January 2011 – Gökova: Due to annoying flight changes, last December and the one before involved long drives to Bodrum to pick up stranded friends who were coming to Fethiye for New Year. The highlight of such a long drive is the amazing view over the Gulf of Gökova as you climb towards Muğla. Click this link to see our post on the Gulf of Gökova.

February 2011 – Af Kule: Not so much travelling Turkey as trekking Turkey. Our post on the trek to Af Kule monastery from Kayaköy attracted a lot of attention and is still the ‘most commented’ post on the blog. The views are as dramatic as the sheer drops beneath you so Barry had to be let loose with the camera whilst I remained rooted to the spot.

March 2011 – Antalya: March was the month where we headed 3 hours east of Fethiye to the city of Antalya. One of the highlights of Antalya for us was exploring Kaleiçi, the old, walled city.

April 2011 – Antalya: Still in Antalya, we posted a photo of Hadrian’s Gate and told the story of our communication problems with a local traffic policeman. How were we supposed to know that the Üç Kapı he kept repeating to us was the Turkish word for Hadrian’s Gate?

Rhodes Town Busy Streets

Be prepared for crowded streets in Rhodes old town

May 2011 – Rhodes, Greece: Wow. We couldn’t get over how crowded this Greek island was. This post was all about trying to get our heads round how many people could possibly squash into the walled enclave that is Rhodes Old Town.

June 2011 – Sarsala Koyu, Dalaman: This beach was voted for by readers in a favourite-beach-poll we did on our Facebook page. We’d never heard of it and asked for more details. A few days later, in between a drop-off and pick-up at Dalaman Airport, we drove to beautiful Sarsala Koyu. Thanks to the people who told us about Sarsala. This is possibly our find of 2011. We were torn between this post and our day trip to Kalkan for June. Which one would you have chosen?

July 2011 – Istanbul: I had a set of photos sitting on my laptop that I had changed to black and white. Most of them were of older areas of Istanbul – a city we just can’t stop ourselves from visiting – so we did a photo post called Istanbul In Black And White. Click on the link to view the photos.

August 2011 – Meis / Kastellorizo, Greece: We’re not sure when we’ll see this beautiful Greek island again, so this post had to make it into our travel highlights of 2011. August was the month we were supposed to apply for our Turkish residency but it wasn’t to be. We made the most of it by taking the opportunity to enjoy a day trip from Kaş to Meis.

Süleymaniye Mosque Lighting

Huge chandeliers cast gentle light around the mosque

September 2011 – Dalyan: A strange one to use as a travel highlight as we were sad to be taking friends back to the airport. But this post was about using the pretty Dalyan area as a fun way of putting off the post-holiday-blues before you even get on the plane. Click to read about a some things you can do in Dalyan.

October 2011 – Saklıkent Gorge: It was a tough decision not including Kariye Museum in Istanbul for October but we couldn’t ignore Saklıkent either. How on earth did we manage to write a blog about the Fethiye area for so long without getting to Saklıkent? We finally visited this colossal gorge again in October of this year when we spent a very relaxing day there with friends. Click the links to read more about Saklıkent Gorge or our very filling Saklıkent lunch.

November 2011 – Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul: Süleymaniye Camii is our favourite mosque and, after a long wait while it was closed for restoration, we got to visit it again this year while we were in Istanbul. This post has photos of the interior and of the peaceful garden area. Click the link to read more about the Magnificent Süleymaniye Mosque.

December 2011 – Datça Peninsula: We didn’t expect any more travels for 2011 so we jumped at the chance when we were invited to visit Datça with friends. We have more posts to come on our time spent soaking up the tranquillity of this peninsula, but this post is about the olive growing area Yazıköy, our friend’s lovely home village.

Have we missed anything out? What are your travel highlights of 2011? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. can’t wait for 2012 now!!

  2. @ Paul: Well, we’re hoping things might be looking a bit different around the site as well as travelling to different places. We’re getting there, slowly. 🙂

  3. Same here – look forward to 2012!

  4. @ Belinda: We’re going to make the most of what’s left of 2011 first, trying to get the new site ready. 😉

  5. Wow, you did a lot in 2011!
    Will you go to Malaysia next year?

  6. @ London Caller: It was a god exercise to do, actually. I usually skulk around, moaning that we don’t go anywhere. It appears I’m completely wrong in thinking this! 🙂

  7. Wow you were really busy in 2011! I admire your dedication 🙂 Look forward to 2012!

  8. @ Erin: Thanks. More busy than we thought we’d been! 🙂 We’re looking forward to 2012, too.

  9. Wow… and this is just part 1? Impressive travels to some beautiful locales. You’re right, i wouldn’t be able to choose either!

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