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Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

Rochester Hills...
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Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

Help! I'm panicking!

We are a family of 4 (2 older teenaged boys). I have all of our tickets bought and hotels booked for a trip next March/April 2013.

At the advice of people here on TA, I opted not to do Antalya/Olympos/Fethiye and all of that coastal region because the weather would be iffy at that time of year, and it was "too much" to try to fit into our "7 true days in Turkey" travel time. But now I'm thinking that we're not seeing ENOUGH!

The first part (Cappadocia) I think is OK. We arrive late at night in Cappadocia (from the USA, so a heck of a long day of travelling) on Thursday March 28. We have 3 full days in Cappadocia March 29-31, and then most of the day on the 1st before we fly back to Istanbul. That part of the trip I am happy with, as we like to hike and explore and Cappadocia sounds like a wonderland to explore!

We have 4 full days in Istanbul, and honestly we are not that much of "city people". I am afraid we will see most of what we want to see in a 2 days, and then feel like we could have added more in or gone someplace else. Which then makes me wonder, COULD we? I've looked at Bursa and the other easy daytrips (even the Princess Islands) and they all made me think "meh". None of it looked very exciting to us. Now I'm wondering if we should take a 2 day tour to Gallipoli/Ephesus/Troy?

Is Gallipoli an interesting place to visit for those who are from countries that weren't involved? We've been to the D-Day beaches at Normandy and of course with boys those are VERY interesting, but I have to admit we don't really know the history of Gallipoli.

Ephesus - we've been to Olympia, Athens, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Rome, sites in Sicily and Greece.....so I'm not sure Ephesus would be anything particularly new to us.

Troy SOUNDS like it would be really cool, but then it's not really very excavated yet, is it? And I think it is a long way to go from Istanbul just for that.

What we would REALLY love would be a place along the coast with beautiful scenery and more of a small town or village atmosphere that feels friendly and Turkish and would give a different bit of scenery than Cappadocia and Istanbul. Hiking, natural beauty, history.....since we're going in April, it won't be beach weather. But someplace that is fairly easy to get to. I'm OK buying more plane tickets, but don't want to waste a lot of time in travel.

Does such a place exist that would fit into our itinerary?

Or do we just need to plan to amuse ourselves for 4 days in Istanbul?

San Juan, Puerto...
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11. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

I decided on an escorted tour for Turkey because I found a good offer just when we returned from Russia (july), and I thought having someone else plan my vacation was a good change of pace. So the hotels are preselected. I believe we are staying at either Mosaic Hotel or Hotel Vicenza in Istanbul. Can't remember the other ones.

YYC
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12. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

You have received excellent advice from the experts on this forum. My advice would be to make sure "travel" between cities/sites does not eat up too much of your vacation time. Enjoy.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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13. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

May I just step in:-))? We loved Ephesos very much, it´s very impressing and IMO no Turkey newbie should miss it.

Another historical site that I could recommend is Bergama.

If you want to have a look to something different, I would suggest a Lycian Rock Tomb site, EG Pinara or Tlos. But I suppose that you have to remit these visits to your next Turkey trip:-)!

San Juan, Puerto...
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14. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

drdebi, it took me some time to reply, but I have finally found some time to collect my thoughts on Turkey.

Since you are planning to visit a few places in Turkey, then I recommend you stay in Istanbul for 2 days. That will give you enough time to see the old town and get a taste of the other areas as well.

Capadoccia is a must. It is very beautiful. if you can, you must do a balloon ride. It will be expensive, but it was simply amazing. We used Kapadojya balloons. Stay in Goreme. They have a nice main street with tons of restaurants and stores. I did not stay there, but we did drive by a few times.

i think you should go to Ephesus. The site is huge. They have restored a lot of the bigger buildings. The terrace houses are not as impressive as people say, I've seen better mosaics in Morocco, but I guess they are ok. Overall, I do not think you will be dissapointed.

We did not go to Gallipoli, but we did drive through the area into Troy. Troy is ok, but I would choose Ephesus. If you do not have a guide in Troy, then I think you will miss the importance of the site. The buildings are not restored, so it is not visually pleasing like Ephesus.

I would recommend you check out Pamukkale. The stone terraces are amazing, plus there are also ruins there (a coloseum and necropolis).

If you have any more questions, let me know. You can PM me as well.

Cirali / Antalya
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15. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

<<<Oh how I wish there was a direct flight Kayseri-Antalya.<<<

DrDeb,

I know that ypu have already travelled but starting next week on tuesdays there are direct flights between Antalya and Kayseri with sunexpress airlines

I wanted to add this info as there might be others reading this post as well for future trips

so how was your trip ?? did you eat some turkish chocolates over easter ??

Edited: 4:32 am, April 12, 2013
Rochester Hills...
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16. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

Our trip was GREAT! And yes, we managed to find (and fall in love with) a wide variety of Turkish chocolates and candies that served us just fine for Easter. My one son developed quite the taste for Dido bars, and loved all the different variations on classic American candy bars (Crunch, Twix...) that we don't have here in the USA. My other son fell in love with the "brownie" type of candy bars called things like Brownie Extreme and stuff like that! So it was GREAT! And we found the Turkish version of the KinderEggs for Easter and my teenaged sons had a great time not only eating them but putting together the little fish toys they got inside!

Rochester Hills...
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17. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

It was interesting because on the trip I kept checking the weather for Antalya....and your weather was great while we were there. In retrospect I realized that the perfect way to divide it up would have been to start in Cappadoccia. Spend 2 full days there, then leave either late at night or early in the morning and move to the Antalya area for 2-3 days. Then on to Istanbul for 2-3 days.

But again, because there weren't direct flights yet between Cappadocia and Antalya (or anywhere on the coast) it wasn't worth wasting an entire day in transit through IStanbul to get there.

I think what we accomplished in 4 days in Cappadocia we could have condensed into a very busy 2 - 2.5.

We had 4 FULL days in Istanbul, but honestly could have seen and done enough there in 2 very busy or 3 fairly leisurely days.

So if the flights had been available, we probably would have been happier spending 2 days in Cappadocia, 3 days in a coastal area like Antalya, and 3 days in Istanbul. But then we're kind of a go-go-go kind of family (with teenaged boys) that can't stand to sit still for long.

NEXT time....the coastal region!

Loved the Turkish people, so incredibly nice and welcoming and fun.

Selcuk, Turkey
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18. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

Is it true that the items most often confiscated at US Customs are Kinder Eggs? Or is this an urban myth perpetuated by the QI team? (UK quiz programme).

Rochester Hills...
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19. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

Total urban myth! :D

My brother regularly comes back from Germany with a suitcase full of kinder eggs.

Mount Dora, Florida
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20. Re: Made my itinerary - now I'm panicking I didn't do a good job

I am not sure that it is a complete urban myth. I confess that I occasionally bring home more wine than I am legally allowed. No one from US customs has ever looked in my suitcase, so it could be filled with kinder eggs. Kinder eggs are, however, not legal in the US. US laws states that we are not allowed to have a “non-nutritive object” that’s encased entirely in food. Since the kinder egg envelopes a plastic egg it violates this law and it is illegal to bring them into the US.

I rather doubt that kinder eggs are the most frequently confiscated item in US customs, but they are not legal. I believe some enterprising company is trying to get around this law by placing the plastic egg inside two halves of a chocolate egg, which means that the plastic is not completely encased. I guess we will have to see if they successfully avoid the law. In the meantime, a suitcase filled with kinder eggs can legally be confiscated by US Customs.