Adventure Travel Blogging

Turkey Bizarre

Turkey Bizarre
Tina brought a magazine article all about Cappadocia entitled “Turkey Bizarre” she had cut out of a magazine some 15 years ago because it sparked her imagination and inspired her to travel here one day. On our our first night in this high Anatolian plateau as the sun was setting and our group gathered at Doug’s terrace overlooking this bizarre landscape with Cappadocian wine in hand, Tina happily announced, “It’s every bit as beguiling and romantic as I envisioned it would be when I filed the article away and declared I would come here some day.” Deep layers of volcanic tuft eroded over 30 million years have been shaped and molded into fantastic spires known as Peri Bacalari , or “fairy chimneys” in travel literature, but once you’re here you understand why they call one canyon we hiked through “Love Valley”: towering phallic formations of pointed basalt caps that resisted erosion...
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Istanbul: At the Epicenter of Civilizations

Istanbul: At the Epicenter of Civilizations
Since I was here with my family for the first time 50 years ago riding around in 1956 Chevy taxis, one I remember that used a built in 45 disc record player for a sound system, Istanbul has become an international hub more like New York City. Distinctive neighborhoods each with their own unique character and appeal worth exploring remain, each full of music venues with late night diners and neon lights, but with relics of ancient civilizations, mosques and minarets beautifully lit up against the night skyline, and the echoes of call to prayer that remind us this city once was Byzantium, then Constantinople and now Istanbul, has remained at the center of civilization. Indeed, Istanbul's cosmopolitan landscape is the business epicenter and playground of the greatest concentration of the world's billionaires after New York, London and Moscow.   As a matter of fact, Istanbul is breaking records for tourists...
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Turkey: Where East Meets West, Past Meets Future

Turkey: Where East Meets West, Past Meets Future
It was 22 years ago here in Turkey when my local guide, Alper Ertubey, and I declared we would establish a partnership to bring Wildland travelers closer to the people and the places of Turkey. I wanted our travelers to experience Turkiye like I remember it when I came here in the late 60's to stay with my aunts and uncles who lived on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Dad was born in Istanbul in 1922 into the generation of "Young Turks" when Attaturk established the new parliamentary democracy after the Ottoman Empire. Although I was raised in Los Angeles, we came here several times when I was in high school to stay with relatives in their apartment at a time with Turkey was still closed to much of the world to protect its fledgling economy. Oh how it has changed today! Today, Alper is not only our in-country trip...
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Guest — Kalkan Villas
Wonderful destination, so much interesting to explore.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 01:11

It’s all about the guides!

It’s all about the guides!
In one way, being a really good Wildland guide is a relatively easy job! Of course, it requires the requisite study of history, ecology, archaeology, or other areas of expertise, and first-aid training with leadership skills are all requisites. But the most important characteristic for a Wildland guide is to be, and to share, your Self! If Wildland travelers are the “Initiates” who want to connect with the people and the places we visit, then our guides are their “Wizards”, or at least their best friends who take them down new pathways by encouraging, sharing and supporting the traveler to be open-hearted and open-minded to new experiences.   Our goal is to share a real world without artifice, that craves our understanding and compassion rather than our judgment; a world that seeks to welcome us rather than entertain us. And to accomplish this, above all other factors, it’s the guides: guides...
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Guest — gene bernice
Travel guide is critically important, because it results in reaching the destinations safely. Travelers 
Thursday, 30 August 2012 22:44

Varanasi: "It's too Indian, even for me."

Varanasi: "It's too Indian, even for me."
Sometimes travelers sign up to go on a far-flung Wildland Adventure such as to India, and then friends or family comment that they shouldn't go because it's unpleasant or not safe. One Wildland traveler who recently signed up to include Varanasi in their trip to India was warned by an associate of Indian heritage living in the U.S. not to go because  as he put it: "I don't recommend this Indian experience.It can be quite horrid and un-hygienic. There are far better pleasant places to visit. Its a holy place but a holy mess with innumerable holy cows doing their thing wherever and whenever. Monkeys also abound. The less said the better. The municipal corporation is in a trance or has ascended. Unholy things apparently flock there for their purification, I believe. It's too Indian, even for me. Diarrhoea (sic) is a serious possibility.”     Here's my honest perspective and what I advised our...
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