Ephesus and Istanbul trip

Contacted Ertunga and arranged for Efes ( 1 day) and Istanbul ( 2 days) trip. Ertunga was always available via email and gave me suggestions as to the properties to stay overnight in Kusadasi so as to have enough time to cover all the places of interest the next day before my evening flight from Izmir. Ertunga was unavailable due to another booking but he arranged for Buland( spelling?). Buland was very knowledgeable and very well travelled. I had been to Jordan and he helped me understand some of the differences between structures at Jerash & Efes. Buland also gave me some travel tips to Brazil where I will be heading next as he had spent few months in Brazil early this year. Buland took me to one of the local restaurants to try some local cuisine. Definitely had best time in Efes. Love when a guide can share knowledge about other places and actually can link some of the places one has visited with the current location to point out differences in a very simple manner for someone to truly enjoy the experience. Also suggested to me about Kapadokya which seems very special( again i am a traveller who doesn’t plan well in advance; so I had no clue about Kapadokya before my Turkey visit- so definitely these kind of tips help a lot.)

In Istanbul took 2 day trip that Ertunga had arranged. Ugur (spelling?) was our guide for both the days. We did visit the usual places such as Blue Mosque, Hagiya sofiya, Sulemaniye mosque, Grant Bazaar, Spice Bazaar. I wanted to try some baklawas and Ugur took us to one of the local restaurants to taste them.

overall did not enjoy Istanbul much compared to Efes but then again after returning from the trip- i realized that I never asked the guide( not sure the guide did mention( I don’t remember if it was mentioned)) why Istanbul was so strategically important- well there has to be some reason why it was the capital of Bezantine empire for ~1000 years and of ottoman empire for ~600 years and if you can link the trip and places explaining this importance it would make much more interesting experience- just my 2 cents.

Definitely will recommend Ertunga for trips in Turkey. Ertunga also arranged for our airport transfers as well.
Visited June 2014

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