Tag Archives: shopping

The Ultimate Culture Crawl: Visiting The Cities of Lycian Turkey

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Likya Antik Kaya Mezarlari, Antalya, Türkiye (Ancient Lycian Roc

While you have looked forward to your trip to the Turquoise Coast of Turkey for a long time, it isn’t for exactly the same reasons as most people coming here.  While you will more your fair share of soaking up the eastern Mediterranean sun this summer, you will be busy on most days exploring the cultural treasures of Lycian Turkey.

A people that were exiled here several millennia ago from Crete by Minos, they reorganized their society here, with the remnants of their ancient lives still visible in the area to this day.  In order to arrive in this culture rich region without having to deal with the hassle of overland travel from Istanbul, be sure to book flights to Dalaman (http://book.flythomascook.com/cheap-flights/to-Dalaman-Turkey/) instead of heading to Turkey’s biggest city.

Doing so will free up more time to explore the sights that await you throughout the Lycian portion of Turkey. In the following paragraphs, we will be discussing the top destinations that you should hit on this action-packed trip to a country often referred to as a crossroads of ancient civilizations.

Start by heading to Marmaris, where the primary attraction is a 17th century castle that shares its name with the nearby city.  Though the present incarnation was built 300 years ago by Sultan Suleyman to serve as a defensive hedge to protect his lands while on a long expedition to Rhodes in Greece, it is posited that forts and castles have existed on this spot as far back as 5,000 years.

When you’re done pretending to be royalty, head back into the city centre, browse through the expensive boutiques and maybe pick something cute if the price is right, then look smashing as you hit the beach or the club, where foreign tourists often mingle with the nouveau riche of this country.

Once you’ve had your fill of Marmaris, hop a ferry for the town of Dalyan, where the ancient ruins of the city of Caunos awaits you. Last active in the 3rd century AD, the standout attraction here are the Rock Tombs that are carved into the side of the towering cliffs in the area, containing the remains of people that have long since passed from the earth.  A short river connects a local lake to the sea, creating an ecosystem that makes for excellent birding, and warm mud baths also make for a relaxing end to the day in Dalyan.

Next up on the agenda is the city of Fethiye, which also contain rock tombs of its own if you’re game to scope out this type of ruin again.  If you’re seeking out some exercise at this point in the trip, the start of the Lycian Way, a multi-week trekking trail that works its way 510 kilometres up the coast towards Antalya.

Though you don’t nearly have that much time to explore this well-regarded path, you can still make an afternoon or a full day walk out of the initial portions of this hike, as it boasts incredible views of the coast from its elevated perch, as well as scattered pockets of architectural remains of the ancient Lycian civilization.

Those who are sweating at the thought of all this walking can still check out some artifacts from the past by checking out a Roman ruin called the  Fethiye Amphitheatre, one of many stadiums the Romans built to entertain the masses long ago.

Finally, make time for the city of Kaş before departing for home, as it has plentiful remnants from days gone by, and a beach scene to salt your time away in if you’re all cultured out.  If you are still good to go, make an effort to see the acropolis in the hills above the city, and a trip to the sunken Lycian city in Kekova Sound will be cause for contemplation as you view places where people once lived on dry land, now covered by the watery depths of the Mediterranean.

Turkey has much in store for the culture hunter, even in its more touristy regions.  By taking some days away from the beach and leaving the traveler ghettoes to explore the area, you’ll find a world that once bustled and lived for the moment, with only physical traces and spotty written records left to tell their story.

Festive Shopping: Christmas in London

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Prepare yourself for the onslaught of Christmas shopping and be organized by buying gifts now rather than at the last minute. Beat the crowds in the weeks leading up to the big day and use a weekend in the city to break the back of your festive shopping list.

A city escape, particularly our capital, can prove to fulfil any shopping list, with all the wares available at your fingertips. Whether you’re on a strict budget and being frugal this year, or can afford to splash the cash on your loved ones, London can provide something for everyone. Spend a weekend in the city and stick within your budget with an affordable hotel. With a multitude of accommodation options located within the inner city limits, you never have to be too far away from your stores of choice. For more information, visit Travelodge and grab some fabulous early bird deals.

If your budget can stretch to the high street stores, look no further than Oxford Street. Home to every store you can think of, it’s a fashionista’s paradise. Grab the latest threads for the trendsetter in your life; with chains ranging from TopShop to H&M, they are all here, ideally located along one stretch. Pop into the massive HMV for a gadget, DVD new release or latest computer game. Peruse the music section and pick up something by your loved one’s favourite artist. Treat your spouse to a funky gadget or some up-to-the-minute technology.

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If you’re shopping for children, the Disney Store is a must. Set over two levels, it has to be one of the largest of its kind and offers everything from princess goodies to the latest Disney film merchandise. With Selfridges, John Lewis, and Debenhams department stores all centrally located, there is plenty to be browsing to ensure you cross off items from the wish lists.

Take a detour around Covent Garden and there are some brilliant little finds to be bought. From international candy in Cyber Candy, making ideal stocking fillers, to a variety of independent toy stores to visit, it’s a super area for festive shopping.

If you’re hoping, instead, for something a little more unique, London is the place to find it. For the alternative wears, head for Camden. From the clustered markets to the Stables, it’s hard not to find something quirky here. Particularly popular with young rockers and vintage lovers, brands such as Hell Bunny, PunkyFish and New Rocks can be easily found. Stop by the impressive Cyberdog store, right in the middle of the Stables market for some psychedelic wear and paraphernalia – if only to see the imposing futuristic giants that guard its doorway.

oxford-street-london-1The Christmas markets are an excellent place to visit if you’re looking for something unique, independently made and affordable. Providing a vast array of stocking filler ideas, handmade items and delectable culinary goods, you could wile away hours perusing the wooden chalet-style stalls. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers a beautiful market that you can enjoy whilst basking in the festivities and Christmas spirit. Alternatively, the markets that line the South Bank provide some excellent hand crafted trinkets and festive gifts.

If you want to take a little break and are feeling lucky, treat yourself to a fabulous lunch at one of London’s high-end casinos. Gourmet prepared food and extensive wine lists will surely hit the spot while playing a few hands. It you’re a little rusty, get some practice in online and you may even win some extra shopping money!

Whatever your budget, there’s something that can be found in our bustling capital for everyone. A city break here will not be a waste and you will return with your arms full of tidbits for all of the family.