Sunday, May 20: Jim Ernest and Sue Edwards arrive in Istanbul on BA# 680 at 2245 hours.
Monday, May 21: Depart USA for Istanbul on Delta Airlines. (#1350 SAT/ATL 9:55A-1:08P; #62 ATL/JFK 2:05P-4:15P; #72 JFK/IST 5:30P).
Tuesday, May 22: Main group arrives Istanbul at 10:25A. (Evelyn and Jay Rogers and Mary Rose Walls arrive on AF# 1590 at 2:20 p.m.) After purchasing entrance visas for $45.00@ (US cash), picking up luggage and clearing customs, we will transfer by coach to the Merit Antique Hotel (01190212) 5139300. After checking in, a shower and nap, you should still have time to take a stroll around the neighborhood. 6:00 p.m. meet in lobby for a briefing about the tour and Istanbul. Dinner following at Malta Pavillion at Yildiz Park.
Wednesday, May 23: Buffet breakfast at hotel (every morning). Meet in lobby at 8:45 for bus tour of Istanbul including visit to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar. Return to hotel in mid-afternoon. Depart hotel at 7:45 for dinner at Kalamar Restaurant.
Thursday, May 24: Meet in lobby at 8:45 for bus tour including the Archaeological Museum and Topkapi Palace. Lunch (independent) at palace. Afternoon free. Depart hotel at 7:30 for dinner at Darül Ziyafe.
Friday, May 25: Have personal bills paid and luggage down in the lobby by 8:30. Departure for Çanakkale. We will cross the Dardanelles by ferry and visit the site of ancient Troy. Lunch en route at the View Point Restaurant. Afterwards we will continue to the Akarsu Hotel (01190) 286 7525815, a beach resort hotel just beyond Canakkale. There will be an opportunity for various beach activities. Any comments about beached whales, cottage cheese, ripples, a need for an iron etc., will be considered out of bounds and in poor taste. Buffet dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Saturday, May 26: After breakfast, 8:45 departure for Pergamum. After exploring this ancient site we will have lunch at Saglam Restaurant. After lunch, continue to Ephesus where we will visit the ancient site and the purported home of the Virgin Mary. Overnight in Kusadasi and the Tusan Beach Hotel (01190) 256 6181515. Again, this hotel is on the beach. Same rules apply as yesterday. Buffet dinner and overnight in hotel.
Sunday, May 27: After breakfast, 8:45 departure for Parmukkale, where the snow-white mineral pools descending from the tumbled ruins of the ancient Hieropolis. Lunch at Traverten Hotel rooftop restaurant. We will then continue to Konya and the Özkaymak Hotel (01190) 332 237 8720. Buffet dinner and overnight in hotel.
Monday, May 28: After breakfast 8:45 departure for Cappadocia. Lunch at Agaçli Restaurant. En route visit to Agzicarahan Caravansary from the 13th Century. We will also visit the Ihlara Valley. Buffet dinner and overnight in Kappadocia Inn. (01190) 384 3433470.
Tuesday, May 29: Day excursion to Goreme open-air museum, Uchisar, and Avanos. After lunch at Hanedan Kervansaray, we will visit the Carpedocia, a major center for Turkish carpets. (Excellent demonstration and explanation of the various carpets and kilims. You are under absolutely no obligation to buy. However, they do offer free shipping for any purchases over $400. Suggestion: Join forces with smaller purchases and arrange for them to be shipped together.) Return for dinner and overnight in Kappadocia Inn. (Jim Ernest and Sue Edwards depart tour in the afternoon.)
Wednesday, May 30: After breakfast, 8:45 departure for Istanbul. On the way, we will visit Derinkuyu or Kaymakli underground cities. Dinner in Istanbul at Çamlica Hill Restaurant . Overnight at Merit Antique Hotel.
Thursday, May 31: Leisurely last day for shopping at the Spice Bazaar. Buffet dinner and overnight at the Merit Antique Hotel.
Friday, June 1: For those of you who are returning to the USA: Airport transfer departing hotel at 9:00. (DL#73 IST/JFK 11:55A-3:50P; #1719 JFK/DFW 5:15P-8:13P; #2171 DFW/SAT 9:05P-10:10P) If you are continuing on to PKWB: Airport transfer departing hotel at 2:00P so we can be on time for our flight to Prague. (Czech Air #433 IST/PRG 3:15P-5:00P).
Evelyn and Jay Rogers
Ellen Musgrave & Dee Smith
James Ernest and Sue Edwards
Sara and Charles Lewis
Careylin Dryden and Linda Nelson-Baugh
Rose McQuilkin & Judy Smith
Allan and Maureen Nowotny
Paul Alessi & Scott Anderson
Anttoinette Acone-Pace and John Pace
Mary Rose Walls