Spread across some of the most beautiful land in Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is a huge country with a jaw-dropping number of incredible sights. Visiting all its highlights would be a project that takes a lot longer than 91 days.
I admit I didn’t see even a third of them, and I was there for a whole year. Then again, I was, um, working.
And they hadn’t quite gotten around to this yet:
Opened in 2003, Miniaturk is a bizarre theme park that reproduces the wonders of Turkey in miniature. And it’s exactly as kitschy and fun as you might expect. Found at the end of the Golden Horn, across from Eyüp, the park is worth a visit if you’re in the mood for something totally different.
Miniaturk is split roughly half between the sights of Istanbul and the rest of Turkey. It was fun looking at detailed recreations of the mosques and monuments we’d spent the last couple months exploring. Even in miniature, the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque are impressive, and Miniaturk allows you to see them from a bird’s eye view. You can walk across a miniature version of the Bosphorus Bridge, listen to football chants at Atatürk Stadium, and even pay a lira to steer a model ferry across a mini-Golden Horn. Inside a darkened room, there’s a “Crystal Collection”, with holographic carvings of Istanbul’s monuments in big glass bricks. Weird? Yes. Cheesy? Maybe a little. Awesome? Definitely.
Lots of pictures at the link, of which I’m going to borrow just one: this sort-of-HO-scale version of the Sultan Ahmed (“Blue”) Mosque.