Turkiye summed up

Shortening the trip from original 46 days to 32 days

Our original plan was to cover the entire Turkiye in 46 days. Unfortuntely a couple of months before our trip there was a huge earthquake (7.8 magnitude) in Turkiye which damaged many regions in the central and southern parts of the country. Many places along the latter part of our road trip would pass though these affected places. So we decided to cut short our Turkiye road trip to 32 days from 46 days. For the rest of the 14 days we changed our plan to “pop over” to Georgia.

Turkiye was a huge country and for 32 days we would said we only managed to cover 3 quarters of the country. It was sad to have to skip the last quardrant (south east) but hopefully we would be able to come back one day to visit it.

We flew into Istanbul, picked up our rental car (monthly leased) and after 32 days we returned the car in Pazar which was a town, 75 km from the land border between Turkiye and Georgia. We returned our car in Pazar, paid the one way charges and took a bus to the border before crossing into Georgia on foot.

Hertz Rental in Turkiye

We prefered to rent our car from an International brand as from our experience the car would be rather new and the company provided a “familiar” level of services. We usually paid full insurance with “0” CDW as we enjoyed not worrying about damages etc. Up to today we had always returned our car without damages, so the extra insurance was never put into use.

For this rental as the number of days required exceeded 30 days so Hertz put us on a monthly rental. After many emails on “what is monthly lease” with the company we took up the monthly rental. Basically we paid the first month in full as for the 2nd month we were charged prorated on the number of days we used the car. Interestingly when we returned the car in the evening instead of the next morning we were charged one day less. The 24 hour cycle (one day count) was not based on the time the car was picked up but on a physical day (0000hr to 2400hr).

Beyond our expectation

Turkiye was very different from our expectation:

  1. Our expectation of Turkiye was a dusty and hot  country. The major cites like Istanbul would be modern but the  rest of the country was probably very underdeveloped consisting of shanty mud houses.
  2. We thought that only the roads in the cities would be fine but once we exited the cities it would be unkempt roads full of potholes, unpaved road and dirt roads.
  3. As for the locals they were mainly Muslims and from our preconception these people would be unfriendly to non-muslim people.

 

All these reconceptions were absolute inaccurate!

 

The Place

The big cities (Istanbul, Ankara, Izimi etc) were as cosmopolitan as Singapore with plentiful of modern high rises (apartment, shopping complex, offices) everywhere.

Istanbul and Ankara

Istanbul and Ankara

The outlying towns were modern, they were clean and very well managed. There were proper roads and the locals lived in modern single/double houses and apartments. These were not towns of our destinations but random towns that we passed.

Random Towns that we passed by

Random Towns that we passed by

The Locals

Everywhere we went the locals were very friendly. Not just locals in the customer services sectors, but locals that we met on the streets. They were all smilely and the first to greet us. Their greeting was not “hi” or “hello” or “good morning”, their greeting were often “welcome” as we definitely looked non locals. Many times during our drive we took short tea breaks at local cafes and several cafe owners did not want to charge us for the tea cost. At Selime Guzelyurt some locals saw us exploring the beautiful rock formation near their backyards they were so excited  and invited us to enter their home for tea. We met a retired journalist at a hotel in Sebinkarashisar, he was so curious to see visitors in such a remote part of the country that he even invited us to his home/village.

Many locals were very curious about us and requested us to pose with them in photos. This was the first countries in our travelling where we got many such requests.

Locals were very curious about us

Locals were very curious about us

The Highways

The highways were modern with many lanes. They were well maintained and the cities, towns and villages were well connected by these highways.

Great Highways and roads

Great Highways and roads

It was amazing that on these highways we were frequently encountered beautiful landscapes and gorgeous sceneries. All of which were clearly visible while driving. Our Turkiye roadtrip took place in April/May which accounted for the beautiful and vibrant colors of the landscapes.

Beautiful sceneries seen on the highway

Beautiful sceneries seen on the highway

Seasides

Turkiye was surrounded on three sides by seas, Marmara Sea,  Aegean Sea, Mediterranean and the Black Seas. We visited many the coastal towns along all these four seas and were definitely impressed with them. These coastal towns were very “resort like”, very stunning and beautiful and were frequently visited by locals and foreigner.

seaside towns

seaside towns

Ruins

There were many ruins in Turkiye. Besides the standard Roman Ruins there were Lycian ruins, the Myras Ruins and the rock tombs were very magnificent and unique.

Ruins uniquely Turkiye

Ruins uniquely Turkiye

Geologicals wonders

The geological beauty of Pamukale was so magnificient large and that of Cappadocia was so unique

beautiful landscapes

beautiful landscapes

Breakdown of Cost

The entire cost of our trip was SGD$12,500 for 2 persons for 32 days. The cost covered return international flights, car rental, accommodation,  insurance, mobile data plan, etc etc. The breakdown is below

International Flight (premium economy)

33.0%

Rental Car, Parking charges, Toll charges, Petrol

15.5.0%

Accommodation

26.0%

All others
(food, souvenirs, data plan, insurance etc)

25.5.0%

 

 

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