10 Things I Loved About Thrace, Turkey.
- I loved waking up to the gentle echoing of the call to prayers at 6.30 every morning. Much better than my bedside radio alarm clock!
- I loved seeing the minarets sticking up like giant pencils in every town and village we passed. They blended perfectly into the landscape.
- I loved lunches without any alcohol on the table. There are always people on trips abroad who greedily dive into the wine and then loudly talk annoying rubbish. Personally, I prefer fizzy water! No, there’s no ban on alcohol. It’s their choice to serve it or not.
- I loved the Turkish bread, crusty on the outside and fluffy, light and airy on the inside. The downside is, it was hard to resist, and I often ate too much of it and couldn’t finish my food!
- I loved the local wines. They are all prizewinners, and deservedly so.
- I loved the shops, especially the Bazaars. Shopping Heaven! I’ve often given up trying to buy things in other countries in the Bazaars because I hate being hassled. And I often get fed up with bargaining as it’s such a waste of shopping time! But in Thracian Turkey, everything is clearly priced, and the shopkeepers smile and leave you alone. And when I did ask for a reduction if I bought several items, they would shrug and say OK, as though they found it amusing!
- I loved the peaceful, empty roads. The colouring of the countryside was picturesque, with not a house in sight for miles.
- I loved the cleanliness everywhere, especially the immaculate service station toilets. I hate public loos, but these were even decorated with floral stencils, and they had vases of flowers everywhere, both in the Ladies and the Gents (because I peeked in there.) They even had coloured beads in the washbasin plugholes!
- I loved visiting the historical area which used to be an inland sea where Noah’s Ark was supposed to have finished up after the flood. We visited an archaeological site and a wonderful, recently-discovered cave. You can park among the trees, have a picnic or barbecue, and even camp there for the night.
- I loved the huge variety of hotels, including vineyards, 4-star modern hotels, and parts of old palaces. And I slept well everywhere as there are no loud drunks out on the streets late at night!
Yes, there’s a lot to be admired about the traditional Muslim way of life!