Travellers: 50s something couple
April 30 – Depart Toronto Turkish Air
May 1 - Arrive Istanbul Ataturk late afternoon
May 2 – Istanbul
May 3 – Istanbul
May 4 – Flight Istanbul (SAW) to Antalya via Pegasus Air – Drive to Ҫirali
May 5 – Ҫirali
May 6 – Ҫirali
May 7 – Flight Antalya to Izmir via Turkish Air – Drive to Selçuk
May 8 – Selçuk
May 9 – Flight Izmir to Kayseri via Pegasus Air – Transfer to Göreme
May 10 – Göreme
May 11 – Göreme
May 12 – Göreme
May 13 – Flight Kayseri to Istanbul SAW via Pegasus Air
May 14 – Istanbul
May 15 – Istanbul
May 16 – Depart Istanbul Ataturk to Toronto via Turkish Air
Prerequisites: We have vices. We smoke & drink & we like to do both from the comfort of a balcony in the evening after dinner. This was a major determining factor in hotel planning. No balcony = no go. Nice bathrooms are a big deal for my wife so I always try to accommodate this as well. My wife also made a major point of wanting to avoid a lot of driving & in particular - twisty mountain roads. Our trip to Sicily two years ago filled her quota adequately . . . We both prefer the older areas of a city versus the new. History & atmosphere win over discoes & vibrant happening scenes with us. Of course, this also means touristy, but we were tourists after all & there is little we could do to hide this fact with attached cameras & a DK in my back pocket.
I started the planning the trip over a year in advance. Fodor’s Turkey Forum was consulted as well as Trip Advisor, Tom Brosnahan’s Turkey Travel Planner & the internet in general. I read Lord Kinross’ The Ottoman Centuries for history & a couple of Orhan Pamuk’s depressing books for ‘feel’. For some of the ancient mood, Gore Vidal’s Creation was my travel book.
An abundance of Star Alliance points allowed for free First Class seating on Turkish Air to the tune of 200,000 points for the trans-Atlantic flights but this required very early booking to get what we wanted. The hotels were booked about six months out & the internal flights about 4 months in advance. Our total for all four internal flights was under $400 CDN. I also had a shortlist of restaurants chosen for every location that I had parsed from Fodor’s Trip Reports & Trip Advisor. And I had pre-arranged two dinners in Istanbul with forum acquaintances.
I pre-booked with Backpacker’s Travel for all of the airport to hotel transfers in Istanbul. See http://www.backpackerstravel.net/
Yes, I was organized . . .
We used the Fodor’s Turkey Guide, DK’s Top 10 Istanbul & Michelin Turkey Map # 758 as our travelling references. A TomTom GPS provided driving assistance & my Blackberry allowed for low usage ‘on the road’ communication.
A big thank you to various Fodorites for their trip reports must be noted with special thanks to otherchelebi for his ‘on the scene’ posts that helped fill in many of the blanks pre-trip. Stay tuned for more on oc later in this narrative.
Note: I will post picture links to this post as I get them organized.
And so it begins . . .
Turkey: Ottoman Odyssey . . . aka “It’s just a Jumble of Rocks”
Travellers: 50s something couple
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