Spring 2013 – Discover Western Turkey

Turkish tea, domes and minarets, colour, food, culture; all combine to stimulate one’s senses with all that is Turkey.  April 21st to May 5th, 2013 we plan to tour in Western Turkey with a group of not more than twelve guests.  At this point there is space remaining on this trip so be it on your own, with a friend or partner do consider joining us for two weeks.  Check your calendars and if the timing works come along.

Turkish Tea Glass

Tea - the Hallmark of Hospitality

My Turkish tour partner Mehmet Ozbalci is a registered historical guide with over twenty years of experience, great English skills and a keen understanding of what the north american traveller enjoys.  Mehmet is tremendously aware of details and the travel we have shared has unfolded without complication.  He has a wonderful open spirit and is proud and knowledgeable about his country from it’s politics, religious tradition to it’s culture and people.

Profile Mehmet Ozbalci

Mehmet Ozbalci

Our days in Istanbul will be structured with visits to historical sites in the mornings and time focusing on rugs and textiles in the afternoons. We will visit dealers; some of international repute and some in the smallest most obscure corners of the Old City.  There will be opportunities to visit a carpet restoration workshop and to view collections at major museums.  It will be a time of learning and being exposed to this age old part of Turkish culture through their weaving traditions.

While touring outside of Istanbul our first internal flight will take us to Cappadocia where a bus and driver will meet us and we will continue south through Konya (home to the Whirling Dervishes) and on to Antalya on the Mediterranean coast.  We will drive west along the sea taking a break in Kale for some rest and relaxation and a day out on a gulet before continuing west to our last stop in Ephesus before flying back for our final days in Istanbul.

I can easily provide you with an itinerary and the details is this trip  is of interest to you.  Contact me at catherine.mortensen@gmail.com

Some of my fondest memories of shared time with guests as we travelled have been the wonderful spontaneous ‘happening’s’ that have come our way.  Particularly in the countryside Mehmet has a sharp eye for opportunities to interact with people as they pursue their daily lives. We have visited in black tents, had tea in mountain village homes, hung out with villagers as they milk their herds, prowled markets and experienced many unscheduled interactions along the way.

I personally love having my feet on the ground where such deep history lies.  In Turkey every corner and view evokes layers of history stacked one on the other.  One can look down into the archeological excavations and see the layers but one can also look at the structures themselves and be drawn into the centuries where varied rulers and empires left their mark.  For me the fact that our travels include the urban and rural help round out modern Turkey today.

Is this trip for you?  Let me know and we can talk about the specifics.

Next week I will post some details about the trip that is scheduled for the fall October 4th – 18th, 2013 in Eastern Turkey.  We will head off the beaten track and travel from Trabzon on the Black Sea in the northeast to Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey.  Stay tuned!







5 Responses

  1. jack says:

    I am planning to go!!

  2. Holly Crawford says:

    My first (and only) experience as a “hand model”!! That sage tea was memorable – in a good way!! Holly

    • Catherine Mortensen says:

      I have such great memories of our travels together including this ‘tea time’ in the black tent when we had true Turkish hospitality extended to us. Every time I see this image of the tea glass I always know that it is you on the other end of your hand. Thanks for being such a good ‘hand’ model…..

  3. Holly Crawford says:

    My first (and only) experience as a “hand model”!! That sage tea was memorable – in a good way!! Holly

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