Tuesday, September 29, 2015

An overview of our Turkish trip booked with Medhills Travel

Our tour to Turkey was booked with Medhills Travel.
They certainly went above and beyond when it came to service.
I had wanted a local sim card for my phone,
but instead they left me a local phone at the hotel we were staying at.
Nothing was too much trouble and they were on call night and day.
The accommodations that they booked for us were comfortable
and the breakfasts supplied more than adequate to see us through the day.


That being said, the Circle Istanbul tour offers food every 37 seconds.
My advice...take every opportunity to enjoy the food on offer.
You don't have to be HUNGRY...you just have to be keen
to taste some of the local delicacies.

The guides that we had were superb and most knowledgeable.
Not only about the history of the country,
but in the case of our Cappadocia guide, the world as well.
At no time did we feel "rushed" and were given enough "free-time"
during the excursions to get to shop or take photographs.

 Medhills rate 100% for value for money
 and we would recommend them
to travelers who are contemplating a visit to Turkey
https://www.medhillstravel.com/


AND NOW FOR OUR TOUR...


The only "hiccup" on our trip.
We could not find this sign at Istanbul Airport.
But all it took was a couple of text messages and we found our transport.
No real stress as we had a contact number and the texts were answered immediately.


From the rooftop of our hotel.
What a view to welcome us back to Istanbul


While my wife had a shower,
I decided to take a walk through the area around our hotel.


 We returned to the Topkapi Palace.
Our guide, Polat, allowed us more than enough time to experience
many of the exhibits on view. 


This is where we had lunch...included in the price of the tour.
Drinks, however, are not covered.
This is right next door to the world famous "Pudding Shop"
where we enjoyed a meal in 2014.


A MUST VISIT...
The Hagia Sophia.
We were here in 2014, but this visit was
much longer and more in depth.
Singularly one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever entered


The Blue Mosque.
In 2014 we were unable to get in due to the crowds.
This time, the rain seemed to keep many of them away and
we were able to spend some time inside.


By using Medhills Travels and their guides,
we were taken to the best places to buy quality hand made items.
This store supplies natural, organic, eco-friendly and human made
woven items.
This is the owner of Jennifer's Hamam.


There is an art to flipping a carpet.
And Mesut was able to demonstrate.
There are a plethora of carpet shops in Istanbul,
but, with the correct information,
you will be able to make informed buying choices.
This is where the Medhills Travel guide was invaluable


There are MANY cats in Istanbul.
A documentary has been made about them,
and will hopefully be released soon.
This is the teaser:
https://youtu.be/M9YmKS7qu4I


Linking Asia to Europe.
Across the Bosphorus Straits


A walking tour will allow travelers to spot handles like this.
It is small things like this, off the well worn tourist routes
that made our walking tour special.
We even got to share tea and snacks at the home of a local couple.


We did a short cruise on the Bosphorus, and when we got off
we discovered this couple having their wedding pictures taken.
I was not the only "non-official" photographer
who was taking pictures.


Delivering tea...
one of the iconic sights of Turkey.
I have no idea who supplies all the shops,
but if offered, accept!
The drinking of tea is part of the purchasing process.
There are usually three flavours, Apple, Cinnamon
and Turkish.
The one time I was unable to decide, I was brought all three.


There are many statues in the city and the Turkish flag
is flown everywhere.


Many different cultures are represented here.
This duo came from Peru.


I saw many men wearing these hats and headbands while in Istanbul.
I also noticed several with large bandages at the back of their heads.
Was it religious? Was it cultural? Were they all shaving their heads
and having tattoos?
Turns out it was none of those...
Istanbul is the HAIR TRANSPLANT capital of the world!
Hundreds of clinics offer services to both men and women.
The average transplant costs $1900.00 and often includes accommodation
Around 1600 individual hairs are transplanted,
usually from the back of the head.
Turkey has a large income from medical tourism,
something that I was unaware of!
 http://www.beautytravels24.com/hair-transplantation.php


The walking tour took us through
neighbourhoods where we were able to enjoy
street food and the vibe.


Many of the buildings that we passed are in a state of disrepair
and were derelict.
But they seemed to add to the charm of the city,
rather than to distract from it.
Istanbul as a travel destination is highly recommended
and doing it with a company that cares made our experience
one that we will remember forever.
Many thanks to Cenan, Vedat and their entire team.

This is where we stayed during our visit to Istanbul.
The quality of the food and the friendliness of the staff was suberb

Our tour guide for our first couple of days of the tour.
Polat Korkmaz was a great guide and very patient,
considering we stopped for shopping
and photographs VERY often.
Highly recommended!

This is what our group had to say about our Circle Istanbul tour:

Our guide for our time in Cappadocia was Oguzhan Turkoglu
He was funny, informative and he was also well versed
on the countries of the tourists that he was hosting!
Made the group feel more that just paying customers.
This is what he had to say about the region and what is on offer:

Medhills Travel is an accredited member of this Agency

We stayed in this "cave hotel" in Cappadocia.
The MDC Cave Hotel is certainly different, but for all the right reasons!
Friendly staff, great accommodation and wonderful food.
Highly recommended.

This is a must do event while in Cappadocia
Visit their website:
Listen to some of the music...



         

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