19 December 2013

Did You Know Santa is from Turkey?

This time of year, many of us think of Santa as busy elf in his workshop in the North Pole.  He may live at the North Pole now, but his true birthplace was Gemiler island on the western coast of Turkey.  Visitors to the modern-day coastal town of Demre, can go inside the cave church where the original St. Nicolas, the Bishop of Myra, lived and preached. 

Santa's Birthplace, Gemiler Island, Turkey
The following excerpt is from a very interesting book explaining the science and history behind many of the Christmas traditions we practice today.  Roger Highfield’s, “The Physics of Christmas” can be downloaded from iBooks (https://itun.es/us/V5qtv.l)

Happy Holidays
from your Outdoor Recreation Team!

29 October 2013

Fall / Winter iBook is Here!

Ever wonder what you are looking at when you're on trip? Now there's an iBook for your iPad with all the descriptive information found on this blog so you can take the info with you when you travel.

Just download and then you wont need the internet to read about your favorite places in Turkey with Outdoor Recreation.

And ... it's FREE.

CLICK HERE to download a copy from the iTunes store.

Don't have an iPad? CLICK HERE.

14 October 2013

Kozan Castle

Kozan Castle is interesting because it's surrounded by the town.  The views are spectacular - a satisfying reward after a challenging climb.  Although there are stairs, the climb is steep on are slippery and uneven footing. Use care when hiking. There are no guard rails or people to tell you where not to go.

Entrance Fee - Free
About 45 Minutes from Incirlik
Difficulty - 3 Hotdogs

There are lots more castles in Turkey that we visit at ODR.  Visit castles.nl/tr/tr.html to read about them. Photos and text from Marko Tjemmes, Castles in Turkey at HERE . Used with permission.

15 April 2013

Kapuzbaşi Waterfalls

The Outdoor Rec Team recently "discovered" these gorgeous waterfalls.  Of course they've been there all along, but they are new to us.

Entrance Fee - 5 TL
About a 5+ Hour Drive from Incirlik
Visit Outdoor Rec for GPS Coordinates 

The fast moving river is too rough for white water rafting, so use care when hiking. 

14 April 2013

"James Bond" Bridge

The Varda Köprüsü bridge stretches over the Karaisali Canyon in southern Turkey. It is a relatively easy drive using a GPS.  Along the drive to the canyon, the green farm fields are a refreshing sight, especially when you're used to the dry Adana area. The contrast of the green lush landscape and higher elevation makes this day trip feel like a lovely Sunday drive in the country. The bridge is known locally as "the German Bridge" because it was designed and constructed by Imperial German engineers as part of the Baghdad Railway in 1903.  Recently, the bridge appeared in the movie Skyfall, lending it the moniker, the "James Bond" Bridge.

Entrance Fee - None
Getting There - About 90 Minutes from Incirlik
37° 14' 39.36" N 34° 58' 40.42" E
Difficulty - Easy walking along the bridge area and canyon.

03 December 2012

Alahan Monastery

Alahan monastery, clinging to the mountainside, has been deserted for some 1,400 years yet time has left it remarkably untouched. The site was explored in the 1950s and 1960s by the late Michael Gough of St. Michael’s College, Toronto, but his work was cut short by his death.  So, the mystery of Alahan remains unsolved: Who were the monks who built this monastery and why did they desert it? There is no clear answer, but the attempt to find a solution takes us back to Byzantine Christianity in the centuries before the eastern provinces were lost to Islamic invasions.

Entrance Fee - 3 TL
Getting There - About 4.5 hours from Incirlik. ODR rents GPS and has trips to this location.
GPS: N 36°47.441’   E033°121.092’
Physical Difficulty - MEDIUM. Loose rocky footing.

20 November 2012

Heaven & Hell Caves

“The Caves of Heaven and Hell (Cennet ve Cehennem), near Kizkalesi are worth a visit as natural phenomena, and also as historical points of interest,” writes Tom Brosnahan, of the Turkey Travel Planner website. “As you approach the caves along the access road from the Mediterranean coastal highway, you’ll see the lofty walls of a huge Temple of Zeus erected here in homage to the king of the gods who features prominently in the ancient myths related to the caves.” -
Text by TurkeyTravelPlanner.com copyright © by Tom Brosnahan & Travel Info Exchange, Inc. Used by permission. 

Entrance Fee - 5 TL
Getting There - About 2.5-3 hours from Incirlik depending on season and traffic.  Outdoor Rec has trips to this location and rents GPS.
38° 57’ 49.48” N  35° 14’ 35.96” E
Physical Difficulty - HARD. Going down the 455 steps into the cool cave is "Heaven" but climbing out is "Hell." 
If the climb is too difficult wait at the restaurant on sight. There are cool drinks, çay and snacks, restrooms and a bit of shopping.

“Look upon it as a nature walk: old trees, birdsong, seasonal flowers. The air cools as you go down along the mostly shady path to the great mouth of the cave, where the air is really cool and damp.”