Well it is down to just a week before we leave for Turkey. It has been a long wait - a bit longer than we typically do for a trip. We are not the type that start planning as soon as we return or a year or more in advance. But with my new job, I needed to stake out a specific time for vacation so we started looking back in January. We started searching first for flights. Most of the flights were through Chicago or multiple stops. I think the most unusual was Seattle to Pittsburgh to Warsaw to Istanbul. But G stumbled upon a low cost ($900) fare via Los Angeles. Turkish Airlines had just introduced non-stops from LA to Istanbul on Boeing 777. We snagged it.
Next we started looking for accommodations. We knew we wanted an apartment and wanted to stay about a week. The most I could take off was just about two weeks - bummer. We poured over the VRBO, searched the web but ended up deciding to stay at Istanbul Holiday Apartments. We decided on the Glorya Deluxe View. It is a little pricey but we really wanted a view and we love all the amenities and location. We debated between staying in Sultanahmet historic area or the newer area across the Golden horn in Beyoğlu. The Beyoğlu area appealed to us.
Next we debated over and over how to spend the remaining 6 days. I really wanted to go hunting for autumn flowers. Autumn crocuses are native to Turkey along with other fall bulbs and I really wanted to spend some time in the hills. But G really wanted to see Ephesus. So we finally decided to focus on the Western Aegean coast. We are staying three nights at Nişanyan Hotel in Şirince. We are staying in one cottages. We will spend a day exploring Ephesus and other near by ruins or Dilek National Park and a second day driving out to see the ruins at Aphrodisias. It will be an all day drive to Aphrodisias and back but we also hope to explore some of the hills nearby looking for fall blooming bulbs.
For the final two days we will move to Lake Bafa which will give us a bit of a nature escape. We will stay at the Agora Pension. I loved this article from Conde Naste UK. We will visit Didyma on the way. The last day will be spend explore and relaxing at Lake Bafa. We will have one last night in Istanbul. We will spend it at Faros Hotel in Sultanahmet before the long slog home.
We can not wait!