So a little later than ‘everybody else’ I am now back from Turkey. Wim and I had both decided we needed some vacation and since we where going to Turkey for GUADEC it would be a great opportunity for us to travel around and see the area. Our original plan included climbing Mount Arrarat and visiting Georgia and Armenia, but trouble getting climbing permit combined with some german tourists getting kidnapped on Mount Arrarat by Kurd sepratists got us to adjust our plans. We ended up instead travelling down to cities such as Urfa (Edessa) and Harran, spending some days in Cappadocia and finally visiting Pamukkale and Ephesos. Had a blast of a time although Wim seemed a little less enthusiastic about females of the Korean and Taiwanese variety than me. Could of course just be that ‘Hello Kitty’ panties fail to get his sap boiling :)
For anyone travelling to Turkey I think spending 2-3 days in Göreme is an absolute must. It is a charming backpacker town with a lot of the hotels carved out of volcanic rock. A little gimmicky in the sense that the locals no longer live in the rocks for the most part, but the area is something which just have to be experienced.
Although we enjoyed the food I think it is safe to say that neither myself or Wim will be eating salad with cucumber and tomato, sprinkled with a little lemon anytime soon. 10+ days in a row is enough for a while :)
One thing I started wondering about while travelling around was the enormous expectations by local people for what an EU membership would mean for the people of Turkey, ranging from the EU solving all minority rights issues for Kurds, Armenians and Alavis, west European living standards and salaries for everyone, to solidifying Turkeys secular traditions. While the EU will for certain help push Turkey in the right direction on these issues, I can’t help but wonder if a future EU membership for Turkey might end up being a big lettdown compared to the expectation level I experienced.