MJ Turkey Trip 2010

Marguerite's Trip to Turkey in 2010

On September 17, 2010, Marguerite embarked upon a 17 day trip to Turkey with Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). The trip was planned by her college friend and travel buddy, Gretchen Turner, and included 10 people (nine women and one husband) from Atlanta, Marguerite, and Renee Walter from Phoenix (Renee is the mother of Gar's friend Rob Walter). The trip was led by a wonderful young Turkish man named Fathi (Faa--Tee) Kose who saw to it we had a very good time and an educational experience too! Fathi is 33, married, and the father of a four-month old little boy for whom all of the grandmothers on the trip had lots of advice!!

Gretchen christened us "The Turkey Gobblers" (left to right): Renee Walter, Ruth Hough, Patsy Thompson, Marguerite, Martha Shepherd, Gretchen, Steve Bacon, Fathi, Edna Bacon, Kent Leslie, Susan Gibbons, Jane Royall, and Cheryl Parlato.

Our Tour

We flew into Istanbul and stayed in a very nice hotel for three days, then we flew via Turkish Airlines to Nevsehir in the heart of the Cappadocia region. Via tour bus we wended our way through Konya, Antalya, along the turquoise coast to a small ship that docked in Marmaris, and again boarded a bus to Kusadasi and Ephasus. We ended the trip in Izmur where we got a flight to Munich, then Washington Dulles, and finally back home (trip home was 28 hours from "wake up call" in Kusadasi until plane landed in San Diego!)


Istanbul is a very interesting city. George and Marguerite had been there briefly on our cruise in May but on this trip we saw many additional things. We stayed in a recently remodeled hotel with traditional Turkish baths in each bathroom. It took us a while to figure out what the basin was as there was no drain! Fathi told us that the procedure was to fill the basin with warm water and then use a bowl to dip out the water and pour it over your body. We opted to use the shower instead!

We visited the beautiful Hagia Sophia church that was closed in May when George and Marguerite were there. The church was originally built as a Christian cathedral, then became a Mosque, and is now a museum. The windows are particularly lovely. We also visited the famous Blue Mosque that we had seen in May. A visit to the famous Spice Market yielded two kinds of saffron -- one from Morocco ($5 for lots) and a small vial from Iran ($25 for one ounce!). Topkapi palace was also very interesting and we learned a lot about how Turkish royalty lived, complete with concubines in the "harem" which was really the home for the royal family (that included many additional folks including the concubines).


Cappadocia was my favorite part of Turkey -- the landscape is fascinating with hundreds of fairy chimneys that were occupied until 1980. The hillsides were covered with cave homes of varying sizes and complexities. Before sunrise most of the Turkey Gobblers took a hot air balloon ride. Sunrise was gorgeous and the experience was one we will long remember. Later that day we had lunch in a village home and watched the host ladies make flatbread. We also visited a very large "underground city" similar to the cave homes on the hillsides but down 8 "stories" underground. We also experienced a demonstration by the "Whirling Dervishes" of their religious ritual that involves whirling round and round supposedly in a spiritual trance. We thought it was more of a tourist attraction but they would not permit photos and had very little to sell!

The next day we visited the Galip pottery factory and watched Mr Galip throw a pot on a foot driven wheel. He was quite a showman and did not permit photos of himself without a substantial fee! Most of us bought pottery there. We also went to a carpet factory and learned a lot about how the beautiful rugs are made. Several ladies bought rugs too but Marguerite resisted the temptation!

On our last day in Cappadocia we stayed in a village home overnight and slept on pallets on the floor. Renee and Marguerite shared a room and 10 of us shared a bathroom (we opted for no showers!). Everything was very clean, the food was delicious and the family was most gracious. All of these OAT tours include home stays as a way to get to know the people.


Aspendos is an ancient Turkish city with the most well preserved theater in Turkey. The theater dates back to the 2nd century AD. We also visited the ancient city of Perge settled by Greek Colonists after the Trojan War and the site where St. Paul preached his first sermon. En route we stopped to buy some hand knitted items from local women.

We later visited the Antalya Archeological Museum where we found a sarcophagus for a dog and very interesting large pots used as burial chambers.

Gulet Yacht Cruise

One of the most interesting parts of the trip was a four-day cruise on a small yacht along the Turquoise Coast of Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea. The ship had two large masts and we ate all our meals on the deck at a very large table where we could also read and visit. Swimming in the ocean was a great treat that each of us tried several times. The sea was very salty (3.8%) and seemed more salty than the Atlantic or Pacific, although the average is 3.5% according to Wikipedia! One day we boarded a small boat to visit one of the islands and met a large sea turtle along the way. We also visited the Roman ruins of Myra and the Church of Saint Nicholas where Marguerite and Renee had their photo taken.

Kusadasi & Ephesus

Our final couple of days were spent in Kusadasi and at Ephesus. We stayed in a very new hotel that was perfect except for limited internet access. Ephesus was the highlight of this portion of the trip. Marguerite found the caduceus, the Goddess Nike and ancient toilets! Of course, the huge stadium is a must see for this visit. Although George and Marguerite had been here in May, George was quite ill and the day was very hot. This time was much more pleasant and interesting.

The Turkey Gobblers enjoyed our final dinner together with Fathi and hope to join together again in the future for another OAT adventure!

Return to Home Page