Turkey represents a clash of cultures and traditions. It is half European and half Asian. Like Russia, it sits right on the border of these two continents. If you want to be geographically correct, Turkey is about 95% Asian and 5% European. Its rich history, culture, and traditions predate modern theories, but it is considered as one of the most Westernized majority-Muslim nations.
When you visit Turkey, you’d never want to do exciting things to do, nor would you want to get quality modern floor rugs and other home items. Much like the social and religious tapestry of Turkey, its textile industry is its most important sector in terms of gross domestic product, exports, and employment.
Are you planning a visit to Turkey soon? Skip the traditional mosques and the touristy spots. Go deep into the heart of Turkey and experience this Eurasian nation the way others have not.
Enjoy a Turkish Bath
The Cemberlitas Hamami was designed by Mimar Sinan in 1584. It offers a traditional Turkish bath where you need to break away from your inhibitions. Women can go either naked or wear bikini bottoms or underwear. Men are required to wear bottoms at all times. Most Turkish baths include 45 minutes of washing followed by traditional scrubbing with a handwoven washcloth. It is finished off with a foam wash and massage. Also called hamam, it is similar to a Scandinavian sauna but closer to a Roman bath.
Try Mad Honey
When the bees feed on the pollen of rhododendron flowers, the result is called mad honey. This has a hallucinogenic punch. It is reddish and slightly bitter. There is no record of deaths because of mad honey. Still, some believe that consuming it can lead to hallucinations, slower heartbeat, or temporary paralysis.
This is legal in Turkey. You can get it for $60 to $80 per pound directly from beekeepers. You might want to check with your local laws if you can take mad honey back home.
Take the Bosphorus Ferry Ride
Forget about the Venice canals. The Bosphorus Ferry Ride takes you to the sport where the Black Sea meets the Mediterranean Sea. You can view the Galata Bridge in the distance. It is said to be the most beautiful view of Bosphorus. Seats for the rides can sell out pretty fast, so you should make the reservations early.
Revisit History at the Ankara Castle
If you’re interested to see what living was like in the 7th century, here’s your chance to witness that. The Ankara Castle still stands proud in Turkey. The grounds of the castle are dotted by the houses from the golden era of Turkey. You can marvel at their architectural designs that date back to the times of the Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders, Ottomans, and many others.
Buy Hand-painted Ceramics and Textile
If you can somehow bring all the things that you can see from the Turkish market, you’ll probably pay thousands worth in cargo. Prepare your budget because you won’t be able to say no to their hand-painted Iznik ceramics. There are only a few places that sell these authentic hand-painted tiles of dark red and turquoise. Make sure that you’re buying the real ones.
You’ll never run out of things to do, eat, and buy in Turkey. The country has always had magnificent architecture, stunning mosques, intriguing cultures and traditions, and a rich history that will capture that old soul of yours. Your visit to Turkey will surely be an experience you’ll never forget.