Our family trip to Turkey was the first group departure we have taken, and it turned out to be one of the best trips. The reason it was so great was because of the excellent itinerary that Wildland put together. The knowledgeable and flexible leader we had, and the inter dynamics of our small group of 4 families.
Turkey turned out to be the perfect combination of sights, and experiences, learning and fun. Sleeping within site of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and hearing the muezzins wake up call to prayer was just the beginning of a cultural immersion in a fascinating country that is the cross roads of many civilizations. Our kids studies were reinforced every day, as we saw with our own eyes the remains of the Greek/Roman/Ottoman/and more rule. Our leader had a graduate degree in anthropology, and better yet, she was a mother of a teen, which made her all the more compassionate as the leader on a family group with 7 teens.
- Seeing the beautiful underground cisterns the Romans built in Istanbul and wondering how they could engineer this back then.
- Seeing the Aya Sophia in person, which I think is the most beautiful structure in the whole wide world.
- Visiting a 300 year old haman (Turkish bath) and imagining that you have been transported back in time.
- Clambering around the cliffs in Cappacocia, and seeing the beauty of the cave houses and churches, and admiring how tough life was back then.
- Celebrating our son's 16th birthday in a private home in a tiny village where our group was doing a home stay.
- Visiting a remote Ottoman Caravanseri, and hearing the stories of travelers from long ago who passed through the protected walls.
- Lunches and dinners in small charming family run places, with tons of character.
- Being charmed and uniformly welcomed by friendly Turks.
- Traveling by gullet to Lycian ruins that are inaccessible by road, and even swimming and snorkeling to see some that are submerged.
- Learning to play Watermelon soccer from our travel mates. (Played underwater with a watermelon passed as the ball.)
- Being surprised at how absolutely delicious Turkish food is!