Colin & Judy Jones
I want to write to tell you how much we enjoyed our two weeks travelling in Turkey. It was an eye opener from beginning to end.
We must thank our two guides – I’m sorry we didn’t get the spelling for our first guide in Istanbul but his name was pronounced Uhr? – for their kindness towards and consideration of Judy as they walked and transported us around Istanbul and all of the other remarkable places they took us to. Uhr? even went so far as to buy from a market stall, a collapsible seat for Judy so that she might rest more easily as he explained what we were seeing. He refused to let me pay for it at the end of his two days with us and at the same time insisted we take it with us for our travels with Mehmed.
Our general experiences were that Turkish people are very friendly, polite and keen to help. Some might say this is because of low tourist numbers but we feel it is more a general trait of the Turkish. At no time while we were by ourselves in Istanbul and elsewhere did we feel anything but goodwill towards us. Also I want to say how much we enjoyed the never ending supply of food when we stopped for lunch and dinner. Invariably when we thought we were stopping for a light lunch the meal became a virtual banquet.
The accommodation throughout was excellent perhaps apart from the Parion Hotel where we felt the staff could have been more obliging and understanding. You might have heard we had a couple of issues when we arrived at the Dosso Dossi but they were resolved very quickly and I feel we all became friends. The location of the hotel was very convenient to the Old Quarter and there was plenty of character compared with staying in a steel and glass tower. Each for its own reason the Doga Thermal and Stone Cave House hotels were the pick of our other stays and we could have happily spent more time at both. The only down side of all of our accommodation was we felt the beds could have been softer. We have mentioned that to other people who have travelled in Turkey and all have agreed with us that the beds are hard; maybe it is an Australian thing but I know we appreciate a softer bed.
Of the ancient sites we visited I think the Acropolis at Pergamon and Hierapolis in general were the two standouts while I doubt we will never forget Panorama 1453. Again Uhr? arranged for us to enter the dome using the disabled persons lift and the effect was very dramatic. Judy particularly enjoyed the hot air balloon flight and I need to thank the staff there who firstly helped her into the basket and physically lifted her out.
So all in all it was and excellent two weeks and we wished now we could have spent more time in Turkey but I know we always talk of our time there very fondly.