We may be crazy but an opportunity presented itself and we decided to take off for Turkey on Sunday, August 29 for 2.5 weeks. The country has been open for several months and despite fires and floods, which have been handled, tourism is flourishing there.
Our Turkish contact has assured us that everyone we will come into contact with has been vaccinated (as have we). To enter, we need a negative antigen test or our shot record, both of which we have. We fly from Guadalajara to Houston and Frankfurt to Istanbul. Our hotel looks amazing.
Jim visited Istanbul twice and Ephesus once via the US Navy and once on a cruise many years ago. He saw some of the main sites there but this trip will definitely be more inclusive.
The day after we arrive, we immediately start with an Istanbul tour to many of the tourist locations, including the Hagia Sophia (the largest building on earth barring the Egyptian Pyramids or the Great Wall of China), Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, and the Grand Spice Bazaar (which I am anxious to visit).
The next day, September 1, we have a short flight to Izmir, where we will relax in Kusadasi overnight. Our tour continues the next morning to see The House of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus, the largest city on the planet with 250,000 citizens in the 1st century AD. Then, off to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before returning to our hotel in Kusadasi.
Day three takes us to Pamukkale, where there are hot springs believed to have healing powers and considered to be the earliest spa on earth. People traveled long distances to find a cure for whatever ailed them. It is a World Heritage Site. We then go to the ancient city of Hierapolis, the biggest Necropolis with 1200 gravestones, We then are off for the drive to Fethiye for the next phase of our trip.
In Fethiye, we transfer to the port to board our four-day sailboat journey. We head to Turuncpinari Cove, where we will be swimming and relaxing, staying overnight on board. That is Day Four… More details on Day Five and beyond.