Rafet, our bus driver (Turkey)

Bob, Stephanie, Reva, and Robert (Texas)


The Best of Turkey - A Rick Steves' Tour

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The Best of Turkey, June 2006 - A Rick Steves' Tour

Sidar, Lead Guide (Turkey)

Susan K and Debbie (Texas and Washington)

Joan, Assistant Guide (Washington)

Jan (Ohio)

Rochelle and Louise (Washington and California)

Becky, Bonnie, Donna, and Mika (Washington, Texas, and Oklahoma

Rosie and Howard (Texas)

Ann and Sam (Washington)

Miranda (Oregon)

Frieda and Ed (Singapore)

Susan P and Harrison (North Carolina)

Judy (my mom) and me (Laura) (California)

John, Cate, and Megan (Hawaii)

What a wonderful group of people I got to travel with!

Throughout the tour, our guide, Sidar, would run into friends of his and introduce them to us as his "cousins." Eventually, as we got to know each other better, we started referring to each other as our "cousins." By the end of the trip we truly felt like family!

Quotes from my "cousins"

"I was amazed by the diverse regions of Turkey and liked experiencing the contrast between Turkey's bustling modern cities and charming country villages. Each region had its own personality and excitement which added up to a wonderful, adventure-filled trip!"   Stephanie

“Our most fun things about our Turkey trip is the hiking, and valley walking tour.  The Greek house staying and the happy wedding night.  There were so many good things that we did on the trip.”   Ann

"Beyond my expectations!  Like taking a step back in history, sites that gave me wonderful ‘chills’, fresh and healthy food to wash down with local beer/wine, music you wanted to dance to, wonderful treasures to buy at the markets....all brought together with the warmest people you will ever meet." Debbie

“There were so many highlights but what comes to mind is our evening at the monastery (Otel Karballa) in Guzelyurt that began with Megan playing cocktail waitress and ended with dancing in the street at a local wedding.  Thanks to Sidar we were not only invited but treated with great warmth and hospitality by the locals and urged to join in the celebration.” About Sidar, “Sidar was beyond outstanding. He led us to a better understanding of Turkish history and culture, which he obviously loves, while being both informative and entertaining.”  John

“If I had to pick one 'overall memory' it would be hearing the call to prayer.  I remember how obnoxious I thought (the call to prayer) it was the first two nights in Turkey and how soothing it was the last two nights.  The next one would be how much in awe I was that a Muslim wedding party would allow us to join in their festivities as "Guests from God".  That was a truly humbling experience.  I loved learning the Turkish people were warm and generous.  I truly enjoyed the celebration of differences in culture.  I loved skinny dipping in the Mediterranean with new-found girlfriends.  I thought the Cappadoccia region was fascinating with all its pigeon rooks, nooks and crannies.  I smile everytime I think of having aryan at the 'summer home' of our host on our hike.   I still enjoy this drink at home now.  I will never forget the smile and hospitality of the women who cooked for us in their home, covered our heads with their scarves and wished us health and happiness.” Mika

Wow moments: “The visit with the religious Imam, the meal with the woman in her home, the focus on learning about the people of the country rather than on shopping made the trip worth every cent.” Sidar: “Sidar was simply divine. Had quite good innate skills at dealing with different age groups. I would do a tour with him again at the drop of a hat.” Frieda

“I have only great memories from this trip! I particularly enjoyed the optional hot air balloon ride. Viewing the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia at sunrise from a hot air balloon was an unforgettable experience! … Sidar was wonderful -- professional, great sense of humor, diplomatic, extremely knowledgeable about his country. It was evident that Sidar loves his country and has great pride of Turkey. This enthusiasm deepened my desire to fully participate in activities and learn as much as possible.” Jan

“It is amazing that the two RS Tours we have had, attracted the most enjoyable company.”

“It was great,fabulous (do those mean the same thing?)and i wouldn't have changed a thing about it.”  Megan

"This was my first RS tour, and I loved it. Having brought together the amazing history, sights, sounds, and tastes of Turkey in a way I will never forget, we also got to travel with a wonderful guide and new 'cousin' Sidar on this adventure. The Turkish people were warm and friendly everywhere we went; I will definitely go back again." Rochelle

"Small Groups; no Grumps. These two phrases are familiar to every RS traveler. Another favorite of mine is "The Bus Rolls at ....." Rick Steves' tours almost always (barring an emergency) leave on time. The RS system that makes this possible is the buddy system that is introduced the first evening when we all meet. When our tour guide calls out "Buddy Check", you make eye contact with your buddy. It takes about fifteen seconds and if everyone is aboard, off we go. It's a neat system and with the addition of peer pressure the bus always leaves on time." Judy

To read evaluations of our tour and others, go to the Rick Steves website.