It was ALL amazing!
Sep 30 - Oct 10, 2023
Where do I begin to tell you about our amazing 10 days in Turkey?! My husband and I didn’t want to go on a « one size fits all » vacation. After a great deal of reading, I had pretty much decided where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do. Can’t thank Berat enough for making it all happen for us. She listened carefully to what we wanted and then filled in the spaces with her expertise.
All three of our guides, Ibrahim, Hatice and Volkan were excellent . They were knowledgeable, had a good sense of humor and went above and beyond to help us with all of our needs and wants. Safety was never a concern and we enjoyed moments on our own to explore with confidence. Local people were always friendly and eager to help.
Our drivers spoiled us from the moment we were picked up. The spacious vehicles allowed us to stretch out our legs and enjoy the views along the way with fresh water and candies.
What was the best part of our trip?! It was ALL wonderful.
The ambiance and personnel at the Hürrem Sultan Hammam were exceptional. Have never been so wonderfully pampered. Was pleasantly surprised that my husband enjoyed the experience also.
Cappadocia was a fairyland. The predawn hot air balloon ride was magical and so serene. And what fun to stay in a cave hotel!
We were warmly welcomed into the private home
of Udo Hirsch, the owner of a small winery in Gelveri.
After narrating our tour of the cellars where we saw the grapes naturally fermenting in centuries old clay containers, we returned to his family table. We tasted several of his red and white wines accompanied by homemade goat cheese and olives and fresh bread. Unforgettable!
In Safranbolu we stayed two nights in a truly impressive centuries old mansion. Our breakfast was spread out for royalty as we sat beside the indoor pool listening to the water flow softly from the beautiful fountain.
The visit to the Bozdag Film Studio was a special treat after having watched several of the television series that were filmed there. Sets were impressive and it was exciting to meet Günkut, one of the alps that I remember from the Ertugrul series. My husband particularly enjoyed watching the live show that was performed at the end of the afternoon. Horsemanship, costuming and acting were all amazing.
We thoroughly enjoyed the food in Turkey everywhere we went. On our last day Berat joined us for a food tour. Was so nice to meet the lovely young woman who helped us plan our trip of a lifetime. Just when we thought we would explode from eating so much, she asked the waiter for a pumpkin dessert. Oh, my goodness! What a delicious way to end our trip!
My husband and I are retired educators. Worked for 40 yrs and raised 3 wonderful sons. I have traveled abroad and lived in different countries, but my husband has not. I wanted this to be a positive, adventurous and awesome experience for him.
And it was!
Thank you, Berat, all of your well chosen colleagues and KimKim for sharing your beautiful country, culture, history and people with us.
Could not have been a more amazing trip.
So nice to be out of the big city and into a small town. The Havuzlu Asmazlar Mansion was beautiful and full of history.
This was amazingly wonderful! The ambiance was heavenly, high domed ceilings, warm marble slabs, beautiful aromas. The attendant made me feel comfortable immediately with the whole experience. Didn’t take long to get past all shapes and sizes of nakedness. I simply relaxed and enjoyed the pampering. It’s definitely worth splurging to get the whole experience including clay body mask, bubble cleanse, body massage. The fruit drink was a refreshing new taste. And the olives and fruit were perfect. Can’t imagine a better experience than this historical Hammam of Hürrem Sultan.
Was interesting to see the artisans at work, making and painting the ceramics . Their work was beautiful but well beyond our budget. Gave us an appreciation for the amazing quality of their work though.
Was a fascinating experience to wander through the caves and to imagine that people actually lived here. If your husband played college football and has broad shoulders and bad knees, you might want to rethink this one though!
The Bozdag television series is the whole reason that I became interested in Turkey. Was fascinated by the history of the Ottoman Empire and wanted to visit all of the historical sites. I was elated to find out that the film studio had opened to the public. Was even happier to learn that some of the actors were there on the weekends. I was not disappointed. Got to take photos with Günkut Alp from Ertugrul! So magical ! The live show in the afternoon was great! Do NOT miss it! I’m back home now and watching the final season of OSMAN. So much fun to see some of the scenes that were filmed on the sets that I had just visited.
We felt quite special being invited into the private home of Udo Hirsch. His passion for making wine was evident from the moment we began our tour. Was incredible to visit the cellars where his wine fermented naturally in containers that were centuries old. Then we were warmly welcomed to his table to taste several of his red and white selections. Friends and family were present. We were made to feel like family as we sipped wine and enjoyed homemade goat cheese, olives and fruit and bread.
I chose to go to Safranbolu to stay in one of the centuries old houses. The Havuzlu Asmazlar Mansion was a lovely place. Our corner room at the top of the beautiful wooden stairway was very spacious. Bathroom was small, but I simply stored extra items in the little cupboard just outside the bathroom door. The cushioned sofas that filled the room were the perfect place to relax in the evening. The bed was large and comfortable. A short walk around the corner took us to a cute little outdoor restaurant. Food was good and we loved the companionship of one of the local kittens. Breakfast in the morning was a feast. It was served in the room containing a dipping pool. Soothing to listen to the softly flowing water from the fountains.
Another can’t miss experience! Our pilot was amazing and there were only 16 of us in a basket that fit 20. Simply magical and serene to float above the spectacular scenery. Crew made us feel completely safe from take off to landing. Woke up early the following morning to watch more than one hundred balloons floating by our hotel. The Kelebek Special Cave Hotel was a magical place to stay. I won’t even try to describe it . Please see our photos.