For the most part, this Turkey travel agency provided a reasonable experience. Our agent was very nice, and suggested a terrific itinerary. The guys in Turkey were great, particularly the guide in Cappdocia. The hotel in Cappdocia was fabulous, and the one in Istanbul was very well located, and comfortable.
Operationally, the trip was perfect. There were people to pick us up at the airports, the guide were on time, the breakfasts at the hotel were sumptuous feasts, the sites were opened, despite a terrorist attack about a block from the main tourist attractions in Istanbul.
We had problems in a couple of areas. The first was understanding what was included in the package. My understanding was that airfare was included, because of the phrase "international flight excluded". We had a flight that was internal to Turkey (i.e. Istanbul/Kayserai), as well as a flight from Frankfurt. We negotiated to include part of the flight and one less night. That said, the price of the tour was higher than I expected, due to this difference.
The second issue was about breakage. We bought an expensive Hittite wine jug, and had it wrapped to hand carry home. When we got it home, the spout was broken. I don't think it was wrapped with enough care. This isn't the travel agency's fault, but we are really disappointed. We are going to work with the shop, and hopefully we can get another one, and not have to pay full price.
We loved Cappadocia. The cave churches are astoundingly beautiful, and the landscape is too. I had a goal of playing backgammon with some Turkish people, and I did that with the guide and his wife. Our guide was a wonderful part of the trip. The hotel we stayed in was a museum, and I loved that too.
We would do a couple of things differently. We would have included Ephesus in the tour. I think that we missed something wonderful. I would also go at a warmer time of year. Because it was very cold, and it snowed, it was difficult to walk outside, due to the ice. We also didn't get to do the balloon ride in Cappdocia, because of the weather.
I think this trip would have been more enjoyable in the spring or fall.
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