Turkey is one of the main destinations open during Covid lockdowns

Turkey is one of the main destinations open during Covid lockdowns

Turkey is one of the main destinations open during Covid lockdowns

It was about halfway through my last trip to Turkey when I headed to the Lycian way, a pilgrimage that linked the cities of Fethiye and Antalya for centuries. I entered the Track just up the hill from the tourist town of Oludeniz, just after the Sun increased around 7 a.m. this morning in mid-October.

my hope, as I was hanging out along the apartment gravel path bordered by bushy conifers still covered with dew, was that I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the iconic Blue Lagoon just as the light started to shine on the ridge for good. Nature, unfortunately, had different ideas.

And I am not to talk about persistent a haze in the sky that blocked any semblance of sunshine, but that didn’t help. No, the rustle I heard in the woods about 20 minutes after starting my hike was not from campers scurrying into their tents, but a family of wild boars who certainly weren’t interested by coexistence.

Hot air balloon in Turkey

Good news was it the mother pork, although she brought me back almost to where I started, didn’t even threaten harm Google search (and memories of a similar experience in off the beaten track Japan last year) revealed to me that such animals inflicted on human, in particular human all by their lonely like me.

The bad news? She brought me back almost to where I started, which left me with little choice but to wait there until more hikers arrival. Since I was traveling along the Turkish coast at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it was far from guaranteed.

Finally, after a hot (but tasteless) salty breakfast gözleme Pancakes in a nearby cafe, I returned under the arch which welcomes visitors to the Lycian Way. Indeed, not one or two but at least a dozen other people were starting their stay when I started mine again.

Among them were a British couple that I ended up joining at the end of the Track in Butterfly Valley, where there was no butterflies, but a lot of garbage. Here the Three of us linked to a Russian I‘re met at the beach the night before, and had dinner and drank well past my regular bedtime.

although I‘re spent a week in Istanbul and Three days in the middle of travertines Pamukkale before arriving at the seaside, it was that happy evening when my trip to turkey started in earnest. Indeed, that’s when I was finally able to let go of the pain and stagnation which largely defined my year Until this point.

As many of you know, I was in Taiwan when almost every government in the world closed their borders for fear of Covid-19. Even though I was grateful that I was there –Taiwan had the best viral response in the world, a who in particular did not see the country locked even during a Single day – this was my longest stay country (not to mention one of the Cut the United States State of Maryland) in more than a decade.

In addition to not being able to travel outside the Isle– and, more materially, barely earn a Single dollar for over six months – my forced geographic stasis manifested itself mentally and emotionally. Yes I am honest i didn’t choose to visit turkey when my Taiwanese Visa expired in early October out of burning desire. (I‘re expected, it turned out to be in vain that Japan would release the hermetic seal with which it locked its borders in April.)

To be sure, while I have long wanted to return to the place where the East embraces the West, achieving this desire in 2020 was more by default as by design: turkey was (and remains, as I to write this) one of the only countries in the world fully open to foreign visitors.

From the point of view of a purely traveler, turkey humiliated me, especially after completing my nearly aborted hike above the beaches of Oludeniz. The charming old man city by Kaleiçi in Antalya impressed me as much as continent European citadels, especially in the Hotel and restaurant department; going back to Konya (the Global center of Sufism) and Cappadocia (a die worldis before everything hubs Instagram) during what proven be the last days of hot weather in central turkey allowed me to smile like the Sun– finally – began to focus on this year abandoned by God.

It humbled me but more importantly it reminded me that life goes on, even if it does it out of alignment (or, in my case, out of sequence: Japan is now postponed to January, and maybe be later) with what you thought was going to leave.

As I write this, I am during a stopover at Istanbul Airport on my way to the Black Sea city ​​of Trabzon, which will be my last stop turkey– I think – but only the beginning of my journey towards a life, I had almost forgotten how to live. It’s a prospect that is as terrifying as it is thrilling, a bit as if I had given the Lycian way after being hunted by a beast that I hadn’t planned to meet.

I look forward to sharing with you the words and images of my journey over the next few weeks, starting with the photos of turkey I have organized for your pleasure below. If you’re ready to hit the road (turkey, remember, is now fully open to everyone), I hope they inspire you to book a flight at Istanbul– and seize the joy of living, instead of waiting for the world to return it to you.

Also check out the article Your Ultimate Travel Guide to Turkey.

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Turkey sunset
Robert schrader

Robert Schrader is a travel writer and photographer who has traveled the world independently since 2005, writing for publications such as “CNNGo” and “Shanghaiist” along the way. His blog, Leave Your Daily Hell, offers a mix of travel tips, destination guides and personal essays covering the more esoteric aspects of traveler’s life.

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