G Adventures Turkey Tour
OCTOBER 21st - NOVEMBER 4th, 2012
A 14-day tour: the Gadventure tour "Absolute Turkey" officially starts once your feet is in your first hotel. An orientation and option to have dinner with the tour guide leader is mentioned on the itinerary. I happened to have missed the first night outings because my flight to Istanbul from Los Angeles was delayed for an hour or so. I didn't properly meet my group and tour guide until the next day.
Free breakfast every mornings then meet the group at the lobby. Oh hello Mr. tour guide my name is V...okay fine...Virrrrr...gini...a. Sorry I wasn't able to make it out last night but I'm here now and ready to go! *happy dance*
The tour would take us to these following places:
Istanbul, Ankara, Cappadocia, Konya, Antalya, Uçagiz/Aegean Sea, Kas, Pamukkale, Selçuk, Ayvalik, Troy/Canakkale, Gallipoli, then back to Istanbul.
Among visiting all those cities and towns we were able to experience 1 night in a homestay, 1 night of home cooked dinner in a family home, 1 night sleeping in a boat, and 1 night in a 140-year old Ottoman home.
Highlight experiences are:
Hot air ballooing over Cappadocia. Flying over the entire natural landscape. For $350 Turkish Lira and a little more than an hour flight with a glass (or two) of champagne in the end.
The homestay out in the village. I've always been a huge fan of homestays. The idea of staying someone's home brings me closer to getting to know the culture a bit better. Because of the size of this tour I wasn't able to communicate with the family like usual. I would've loved to be able to spend another day there. The home cooked meal was a highlight, as I prefer home cooked over restaurant food.
The night sleeping in a boat was the day I gotten sick. Sadly I wasn't able to enjoy it the way I normally would due to sickness. My original plan was to play Gilligan (*cues Gilligan's Island theme song* clip courtesy of youtube user) then sleep at the top deck. Because of the sudden sickness I played it safe and slept inside at the other boat which happened to be avaliable that night. The fresh whole fish for dinner was delicious and to die for!
The stay in the Ottoman House was a trip! The home was very big and every corner had a functional room of some kind. Even in spaces you don't expect where a room would be, there would be. Have I entered the "Twilight Zone"? (*cues the Twilight Zone theme song* clip courtesy of youtube user)
A few people from my group and I joked about this. Despite it being quite strange at times it was nice to have some down time with a few people from the group for a quiet night staying in. Being 14 days long of a tour to have some quiet nights in is pleasurable.
My favorite towns were:
Kas for it's small coastal town with plenty of harbor views, teashops, cute antique shops, and the water views.
This is a video clip when I was in Kas. That day was Republic Day in Turkey. Locals took the streets to celebrate. Great experience!
Antalya for it's beach town with a beach. Not the type of beach I'd imagined because it was not a sandy beach yet still beautiful when the sunsets *sighs*. I'm bringing a date here next time!
Cappadocia for it's small town feel. Quiet and safe. Views of the hot air balloons when you wake up in the mornings.
From hiking, to swimming in a cave, to touring Troy in heavy rain conditions yet the tour of Troy continued on because we paid for this, this tour is memorable. Next time around I don't plan to do anymore tours longer than 14 days, 8 days maximum, as I have realized for a mostly solo traveller like myself I get annoyed with people after a certain amount of time. Any longer than 14 days I probably wouldn't be able to finish the tour and may have to excuse myself.
Turkey can easily become another home of mines. A third home. Although I don't agree on their old school traditional thoughts, every culture is different. Who am I to judge? All in all despite a few differences and a few views I don't agree on, no one society is best. Turkey will forever have a special place in my heart [especial en mi corazon!].
Now please sit back and enjoy this slideshow that summarizes my time in Turkey.