Intriguing, Mysterious, Exotic & Exciting... TURKEY
Turkey presents a magical blend of treasures to explore. With a rich cultural & historical heritage, Turkey's storied past is marked by imposing empires that rose & fell, megalithic monuments offering traces of diverse religion over time, majestic sultans & harems, amazing natural wonders, lively folkloric music and dance, old world bazaars & markets, distinctive spices & culinary delicacies...
plus so much more!
SEPTEMBER 4 - 14, 2014 | 11-Day Journey | US$2,777.00
Day 1. Thursday, September 4 (USA/TURKEY)
Overnight flight to Istanbul.
[Meals on board]
Day 2. Friday, September 5 (Istanbul)
Welcome to Istanbul 'aka' Constantinople (Constantine's City) Literally the place where East meets West with part of the city located on the continent of Europe & the other part of Asia. Meeting, assistance & transfer to our hotel.
Day 3. Saturday, May 31 (Nevers)
Subject of the Day: History & Culture.
Exploration of the city that has always been at a crossroad between Asia & Europe, between history & modernity, between conservatives & freethinkers. Start with Topkaki Palace, the largest & oldest palaces in the world to survive to the present day. Home of Sultans for almost 380 years. On to Hagia Sophia, built as a Church in the 16th century, transformed into a Mosque in the 15th Century, Museum since 1935. Marvel at the six-minarest silhouette & lovely interior of the Blue Mosque before our lunch at Hamdi, a historic restaurant with great views of the city. Next, The Hippodrome, the centre of Byzantium life for 1000 years & Ottoman life for another 400 years. End our tour with a visit of the historical Grand Bazaar, one of the largest & oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets & over 3,000 shops.
Day 4. Sunday, September 7 (Istanbul/Cappadocia)
Embark on our cruise on the Bosphorus Strait that separates Asia from Europe & connects the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea. We'll get the best view of the city & most of the historical monuments in Istanbul. Lunch at a seafood restaurant along the sea. Short flight to Cappadocia, meeting, assistance & transfer to our hotel.
Day 5. Monday, September 8 (Cappadocia)
***Early in the morning, possibility to participate into an 'OPTIONAL' - Hot Air Baloon Ride over the magnificent landscape of Cappadocia. Today's full day tour starts with Goreme Valley, an open-air museum with rock-cut churches adorned with biblical frescoes. Goreme is a Unesco World Heritage Site famous for its fairy chimney rock formations. Whittled down by time & erosion, these figures stand as a testament to the power of mother nature..
Then onto Kaymakli Underground City, the largest among the 100 underground settlements in the region. Explore the remarkable underground city at Kaymakli encompassing hundreds of tunnels & living spaces that descends 8 floors below the ground. A visit to a local pottery workshop and/or handicraft center ends our day tour. Enjoy a folklore show and dinner tonight.
Day 6. Tuesday, September 9 (Cappadocia/Konya/Pamukkale)
Early drive to Konya. En route, visit the Sultanhani Caranserai, one of the thousands of shelters on the silk road from China to the Middle East. (Hotel for merchants during the Seljuk period). Continue our journey to Konya & visit the magnificent Mausoleum of Mevlana. Built in the 13th century & ornamented with brilliant turquoise tiles, this is the resting place of Rumi, the renowned Sufi mystic & also the birthplace of the Whirling Dervish order. Then onto Pamukkale, famous for its dazzling chalk-white array of fantastically shaped limestone terraces. Enjoy a leisurely bath in the warm mineral waters of our hotel's thermal pools before dinner and a restful night.
Day 7. Wednesday, September 19 (Pamukkale/Kusadasi)
Visit the ruins of ancient Hierapolis, now known as Pamukkale (the cotton castle), the name is due to the very white calcareous concretions deposited by mineral springs on the slope near the ancient town. Continue our drive to Kusadasi, also known as Bird Island.
Day 8. Thursday, September 11 (Kusadasi/Ephesus/Kusadasi)
Ephesus, the most infulential capital city of Asia Manor of the Agean Sea. We will explore some of the bes preserved theaters, fountains, & buildings in the world.
"Ephesus receives praise for its perseverance" (Rev. 2:12-17)
Back to Kusadasi.
Day 9. Friday, September 12 (Kusadasi/Pergamum/Troy/Canakkale)
Journey to the ancient greek city of Pergamum & tour its magnificent ruins from the days of Alexander the Great. Visit Asclepion, the healing center of Pergamum, was world famous - named after the healing god Asclepius. People came to the Asclepion for "holistic" treatment that included recreation, theater, music, sports, fasting, late-night runs in the nude, mudpacks, cold & hot baths, potions, herbs, dream interpretations, etc. Continue on to Troy, made famous in Homer's epic poem, the Iliad, this is where the legendary Trojan War took place. Visit the famous archaelogical & mythological site of Troy, home of the 'Trojan Horse' & 'Helen of Troy'. On to our destination Canakkale.
Day 10. Saturday, September 13 (Canakkale/Istanbul)
We'll cross the Strait of the Dardanelles, (a vital transportation bridge between the Black Sea & Mediterranean Sea, is narrow channel of water that connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey) to visit the peninsula of Gallipoli, the site of extensive First World War battlefields & memorials on the north bank of Dardanelles Strait. It is a commemorative site for the Allied (British Empire, France) & Turkish forces who fought , died & were wounded there. It is also one of the most sacred sites for the Turkish nation, with many monuments (Monument of Martyrs) erected in honor of the Turkish soldiers. We aslo visit the Anzac Cove & Lone Pine Cemetery, particularly significant for Australians & New Zealanders, whose armies received their baptism in fire on the cliffs there and carved a fine military reputation under extreme adversity & enormous loss of life; & this military disaster marked the beginning of a separate Australian and New Zealand nationhood. Tonight, enjoy our farewell dinner with a glass of wine toast for a very interesting exploration of life!
Day 11. Sunday, September 14 (Istanbul/USA)
End of another... RTA Ka-Familia and Ka-Puso 'Life Time Achievement'!