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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:06 AM

Has anyone been to Turkey?

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Has anyone been to Turkey? (Original post)
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 OP
cbayer Dec 2012 #1
Kali Dec 2012 #2
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #3
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #4
cbayer Dec 2012 #5
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #6
cbayer Dec 2012 #7
mainer Jan 2013 #8
Blue_In_AK Jan 2013 #11
mainer Jan 2013 #9
cbayer Jan 2013 #10

Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:38 PM

1. I have - just last year.

But only Istanbul, which I absolutely loved.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 08:52 PM

2. yes

I would love to go back, take me with you!

southern/southeast coast and central countryside/cappadocia/"Anatolia" biggest city I saw was Antalya. Good food, good horses, good beaches, good people. Utterly FANTASTIC landscapes.

LOVED it. enjoy! ask me anything. (November may be a bit colder/rainier but considering where you live it probably isn't an issue, although some tourist services are less available)

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Response to Kali (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:03 PM

3. That sounds fabulous.

About the temps, I read that temperatures in November are mid 40s, which is comfortable for us. Definitely our spring and fall weather...especially if there's rain. We'd feel right at home.

This is all in the very preliminary planning stages right now, but we've always been talking about making a "real" trip somewhere, and I love the idea of seeing the Middle East. I always kind of wanted to visit Afghanistan, but I suspect that's not in the cards in this lifetime. Turkey seems like a pretty safe option.

Today we've been planning our trip to Southeast Alaska in the spring. We're going to drive to Haines and then take the ferries to Juneau and Sitka. It'll be nice to have the truck along so we won't have to rent a car. I'm so looking forward to going down there. I did that trip about 40 years ago but have only been to Southeast once since.

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Response to Kali (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:10 PM

4. My husband is wondering what would be a good length of time

for us to visit there. Would 10 days be enough (actually in the country)? Two weeks? We'll have considerable travel time because we first would go to New York, which would involve at least one layover, probably two, and then from there east, maybe another layover. We haven't really checked the routes. Did you do some kind of tour or were you on your own? Can you recommend hotels? Are those places you mention anywhere near Istanbul?

I'm excited for the photo ops. I'll probably take every lens I own, including the new fisheye my husband gave me for Christmas. It'll be awesome for the architecture shots.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:30 PM

5. Turkish Airlines is hands down the best airlines I have ever been on.

And they have direct, non-stop flights from the west coast.

Check out Hotel Amira In Istanbul. Beautiful little boutique hotel in the heart of everything with great rates in the off season.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:43 PM

6. Thanks, cbayer

I looked that hotel up. It looks very nice and reasonable for the time of year we'd be there. It looks like we'd need to start making plans soon, though, since there are so few rooms, and it said six people were looking at the site at the same time I was. Yikes.

I also looked at a Hotel Sapphire last night that was in the same part of town, which was also highly rated and reasonable.

We'll check into that airline. We just assumed that we'd have to go to the east coast. Do you know offhand if they have flights out of Seattle? That's our usual jumping-off point

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:55 PM

7. It looks to me like their direct flights from Seattle make a single stop in Chicago.

Alternatively, you could leave from LAX and go non-stop from there.

And I am seeing excellent prices on the site right now.

Istanbul is magical. It is one of the most amazing places I have visited and I have seen quite a bit.

I think you will really enjoy it.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:31 PM

8. Have been there three times

Have been to Istanbul, the Aegean coast, and to Cappadocia, where the fairy caves are. The country is indeed magical, friendly, and very safe. We rented a car and drove all over Cappadocia. Didn't speak any Turkish, but everyone tried to help us find our way (we got lost several times.) Frankly, I think it would take several weeks to do the country justice -- it's very large, with very distinct areas. Do you want to see incredible scenery? Try Cappadocia, where there's weird moonscapes and ancient underground cities that go as deep as seven stories (the locals used to hide underground from the Romans.)

For culture and food and of course nightlife, there's Istanbul. First-timers often stay in the old city (Sultanahmet) because that's where a lot of the tourist sites are. From Sultanahmet you can walk all the way to the Grand Bazaar, see the Blue Mosque, etc. But on your second trip, you might want to stay in the throbbing and fashionable Beyoglu neighborhood where some truly great restaurants are.

The coast is where a lot of archaeological sites are. It was the outer reaches of the Greek empire, so you'll find many unexplored ruins where the only living things are goats wandering around fallen temples and statuary. We even found some ancient coins just lying in the soil. The jumping off point for a lot of Aegean tourists is Bodrum -- a nice seaside city, but often overrun with drunk UK tourists.

Have a great time. And don't mind the pesky carpet sellers. They're just doing their job, and they don't take offense if you tell them to get lost. Once, I told a particularly annoying carpet seller that I'd bought a carpet the day before. He answered: "But today is another day!" You can't help but laugh at their persistence.

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Response to mainer (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 04:15 PM

11. Thank you, Mainer.

That's very helpful. We're still trying to figure out if we can do it this year or if we should wait until next spring maybe. We've already got trips planned this year to Nome, Southeast Alaska, Denver, and San Francisco, so we're not quite sure if we can work in another trip. Either way, your information is really useful and something for us to think about.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Original post)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:35 PM

9. p.s. Lufthansa has convenient flights

Lot of traffic between Turkey and Germany (due to large Turkish immigrant population) and if you fly from the east coast, you can get to Istanbul with only one connection in frankfurt, I think.

I'd have no hesitations about flying Turkish Air either, certainly within Turkey. It's just that I like Lufthansa.

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Response to mainer (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 2, 2013, 02:44 PM

10. Just want to reiterate my vote for Turkish Air.

I took a non-stop flight from LAX to Istanbul last year, then on to Nairobi.

The fare was several hundred dollars less than any competitor and the non-stop option was fantastic.

They gave me a free layover in Istanbul on return from Nairobi, so I spent 5 days there.

Plus they had the best food I have ever had on a plane.

I stayed in the old city and found the public transportation unbeatable.

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