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My "Final" Turky itinerary is set. Any Input?

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Aug 19th, 2012, 07:01 PM
  #1
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My "Final" Turky itinerary is set. Any Input?

Hi all. So after nearly a year of planning, my "final" Turkey itinerary is just about set. I've had the most debate about my time along the Turquoise Riviera, so I'd really appreciate everyone's input here particularly, as I'd like to make sure I hit the most enjoyable sites. Note that I am not renting a car for any portion of the trip, so will be relying on light rail, buses and dolmuses for those portions of the trip not covered by a pre-arranged tour. Please also note that I visited Istanbul for the first time last Sept. and so saw most of the major sites on that trip, other than Topkapi Palace which I'll pick up this time.

Aug 24: Fly from Minneapolis to Istanbul, via New York.

Aug. 25: Arrive in Istanbul at 10:15 a.m. Use the day to re-visit the Blue Mosque, tour the Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum, stroll Cihangir (where I'm staying) and recover from jet lag as best as possible.

Aug. 26: Istanbul (Topkapi Palace, Sulyeman Mosque, Rustem Pasa Mosque, Spice Market, evening in Ortakoy)

Aug. 27: Istanbul (All day in the Western District. St. Stephen of the Bulgars Church, Fethiye Mosque, Chora Church, lunch at Asitane, Eyup Sultan Mosque, Pierre Loti Cafe, Golden Horn ferry ride)

Aug. 28: Day trip to Ephesus with About Ephesus tours

Aug 29: Istanbul (shopping to find a spring/fall weight leather jacket. HIt the Arasta Bazaar and maybe brave the Grand Bazaar again. Perhaps go back to the Hagia Sophia. Maybe try a hammam)

Aug. 30: Fly to Nevishir for Cappadocia tour with Euphrates Tours. Tour Cappadocia.

Aug. 31. Balloon over Cappadocia (Royal Balloon). Finish Cappadocia tour. Fly from Kayseri back to Istanbul.

Sept 1: Istanbul for 1/2 day, then fly from Istanbul to Trabzon. Evening exploring Trabzon.

Sept 2: Tour Sumela Monastery. Fly from Trabzon to Dalaman, via Istanbul.

Sept. 3-6: Turquoise Riviera, based in Fethiye. Plan for one day to tour Fethiye, visit Kayakoy, and if I get up the nerve, paraglide from BabaDag. Other days: Tlos and Saklikent Gorge tour; Patara Beach and Ruins; and a day trip via hydrofoil to Rhodes, Greece.

Sept 7: Fly from Dalaman to Paris, via Istanbul. Overnight in Paris with dinner at Pierre Gagnaire.

Sept. 8: Fly home from Paris to Minneapolis.

Thoughts, especially on whether I'm picking up the best sites within easy distance of Fethiye? Thanks everyone!
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Aug 19th, 2012, 07:43 PM
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MinnBeef: You're planning to cover a good chunk of a very large country in 13 days. Day trip to Ephesus is a tight day, IMO. Same wih a day trip to Rhodes. I question Trabazon too.
Have you checked a map?

Anyway, make time for a ferry ride up the Bosphorus to the last stop Anadolu Kavagi, lunch , the fortres ruins and return.

Happy to see that someone is finally taking me up on a visit to Pierre Loti Cafe. Try to take a taxi there in order to arrive at 4:45..in time for the 5:00 Call to Prayer emanating from every mosque in the city. The view is magnificent, sitting on the terrace. Ahmet, let's see your opinions on this one.
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Aug 19th, 2012, 08:04 PM
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Hi Tower and thanks for your reply. Yes, I do realize Turkey is a large country--that is why I have flights booked to every location outside of Istanbul. The day trip to Ephesus is long, but I leave on a 7:00 a.m. flight (ouch!) in order to get to the site by 9:00ish and beat the tour boat crowds. I then get back to Istanbul at about 8:30 that evening. For Trabzon, I leave Istanbul at 3:20 p.m. and arrive in Trabzon at about 5:00 p.m. Hopefully enough time to see the Black Sea before dark and then have dinner in the city before touring Sumela the next day.

Thanks much for the tip to get to Pierre Loti at 4:45 for call to prayer. I do believe kja did that on her trip in the spring and raved about the experience. I'll definitely make sure I get there in time for that!
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Aug 19th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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I had also strongly suggested the very same moudus operandi to kja...as I do for everyone going to Istanbul. I came across it in Lonely Planet abou 15 years ago. Loti was a sailor and a journalist/ author who fell in love wth Turkey.

Hope you have a grand time of it in incomparable Turkey.
stu
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Aug 19th, 2012, 08:33 PM
  #5
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You are going to have a great trip, MinnBeef!

I believe you already know that you've set an ambitious itinerary for yourself, but one that should let you see (and re-visit) some amazing things. Enjoy!

You saw the Cisterns on your first visit to Istanbul? You saw, or choose not to see, the Archeological Museum in Istanbul?

> Finish Cappadocia tour.

Have you any free time while in Cappadocia? What does your tour include?

> if I get up the nerve, paraglide from BabaDag

Clearly your choice, but I'm wishing you courage!

> [From Stu:} Happy to see that someone is finally taking me up on a visit to Pierre Loti Cafe. Try to take a taxi there in order to arrive at 4:45..in time for the 5:00 Call to Prayer emanating from every mosque in the city. The view is magnificent, sitting on the terrace. [and from MinnBeef:] I do believe kja did that on her trip in the spring and raved about the experience.

Yes, Stu, I did follow your advice, found it impeccable (as always), and reported upon my return that I raised my glass of chai to you while listening to the calls of the muezzin. BTW, I got there (by cable car, not taxi) at about 4:45, and got the LAST available cliff-side table. An earlier arrival might be advisable.

Keep us posted, MinnBeef!
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Aug 20th, 2012, 05:36 PM
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"You saw the Cisterns on your first visit to Istanbul? You saw, or choose not to see, the Archeological Museum in Istanbul?"

Yes, I saw both the Cisterns and the Archeological Museum on my trip last Sept. so neither is on my agenda this time around.


"Have you any free time while in Cappadocia? What does your tour include?"

I don't think so, other than in the evening when I think we're on our own for dinner. And as much as I can, I'm going to try and make it an early night that evening, as I'm guessing they'll pick me up at my hotel around 4:30 a.m. (UGH!!!) for the balloon ride that next morning.

"Clearly your choice, but I'm wishing you courage!"

Thank you! In reality, the odds are about 10-1 that I'll do it. I'm generally a pretty risk-averse kind of guy. On the other hand, life's too short to not occasionally try things that might otherwise frighten us. I anticipate heading to Olu Deniz and watching some of the paragliders in the air and landing, and then making my decision-thumbs up or down.

"Yes, Stu, I did follow your advice, found it impeccable (as always), and reported upon my return that I raised my glass of chai to you while listening to the calls of the muezzin. BTW, I got there (by cable car, not taxi) at about 4:45, and got the LAST available cliff-side table. An earlier arrival might be advisable."

Is 5:00 the second to last call to prayer prior to dusk? I thought the calls changed with the seasons, sun, etc.??

Thanks as always for the commentary, kja!
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Aug 20th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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kja-

Forgot you asked about my Cappadocia tour itinerary. It includes:

--Kaymakli Underground City
--Soganli Valley Open Air Museum
--Sahinefendi archeological site
--Keslik Monastery
--Mustafapasa (old Greek town)
--Devrent Valley
--Pasabag Fairy Chimneys
--Goreme Open Air Museum
--Uchisar Rock Castle

+ the balloon ride the morning of 8-31
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Aug 20th, 2012, 05:44 PM
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kja
 
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> I thought the calls changed with the seasons, sun, etc.??

There's a link to a site from which you can get the exact times here. You'll need to play with it a bit to provide the right specs.

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/R...yer_times.html
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Aug 20th, 2012, 06:55 PM
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Thanks! Monday, Aug. 27th. 5:00 p.m. on the nose! I have lunch reservations at Asitane at 2:00 p.m. so if I can finish up there by 3:30 or so, that should give me enough time to get to the Eyup Sultan Mosque and tour through that, and then hopefully get to Pierre Loti by 4:45 or so. I read on Trip Advisor that there are upper and lower levels at the cafe. Did you request a cliff-side table or did they just seat you there?
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Aug 20th, 2012, 07:27 PM
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kja
 
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> Did you request a cliff-side table or did they just seat you there?

When I was there, the tables for beverages-only service were seat-yourself. As I said, I got the last available table; others on the same cable car who walked more slowly were out-of-luck (except for another solo traveller to whom I offered the only other chair at my table). As I recall, the restaurant area had very few tables that would have provided a view, and I believe they were all full, too. The good news is that many tables became available once the muezzin calls ended, so you can hang around to listen to the calls and then take a table for the view afterward.
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Aug 21st, 2012, 07:43 AM
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I would go to Ephesus and instead of returning to Istanbul would fly to Kayseri for Cappadocia. If the list of places to see in Cappadocia is within 1 day tour it will be to packed and would suggest to break into two.
Happy travels,
Murat
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Aug 21st, 2012, 11:05 AM
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propertravel-

That would certainly have been a more ideal situation-to travel from Ephesus straight to Cappadocia. However the tour I selected is a day trip from Istanbul, so I will need to return "home" that evening.

Fortunately the Cappadocia tour is two full days, so hopefully that will mean a busy but yet manageable tour of the sites.
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Aug 22nd, 2012, 09:20 AM
  #13
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By the way, when I visited Istanbul last Sept, it was $20, payable in US currency only for a visa for an American. I have my $20 bill set aside, but kja or anyone else who has visited recently...is it still $20 for the visa?
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Aug 22nd, 2012, 08:37 PM
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It was still $20 when I was there; I had some extra with me just in case. Assuming that you are a U.S. citizen, you should be able to check the amount on the following web site:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1046.html
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:10 PM
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Thanks kja. I did check that and it still says $20. But like you, I have an extra $20 just in case.

Just about finished packing. On my way Friday morning. Thank you everyone for all the great advice both on my posts and others' these past 6 months. I'll be sure to post some observations when I'm back in mid-September.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 07:12 PM
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By the way, the shopping list for Istanbul itself includes:

1. Spring/Fall-weight leather jacket.
2. Hand-woven turkish towels
3. A carpet (only if I can find one that totally moves me though and at a great price.)
4. An Istanbul 2020 Candidate City T-Shirt. (GOT to have one of these!!)
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Sep 11th, 2012, 10:06 PM
  #17
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Welcome back, MinnBeef! I look forward to hearing how your journey went.
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Sep 12th, 2012, 06:53 AM
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Thanks kja. It was a WONDERFUL trip and it's nice to be hone! I'm going to try and get some notes posted this weekend.
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