Monday, March 26, 2007

Mobile Blogging...

This is a little off-topic, but WOW! This is so cool - I can post to my blog using my cellphone - how cool is that!!? All I do is text a message to and it automatically posts to my blog. Check it out at Mobile Blogger.

Hanedan Hotel

It's truly amazing how quickly my hotel nominees responded to my emails asking about availability. Trying to make a decision took the better part of a day--luckily, my day is their night so I didn't feel too guilty about keeping them hanging. In the end, I went with Hanedan Hotel. Their email was the friendliest and their rates the cheapest - 35 euros a night which includes breakfast, plus they'll pick me up at the airport for an additional 12 euros, and they give a 10% cash discount. The rooms look pretty nifty and the photo of the terrace where breakfast is served looks incredible!

I'm still waiting to hear when frigging Lonely Planet comes out with their 2007 Turkey guide. According to Amazon, it's supposed to be in April but there's no mention of it on the LP website. It will annoy me to no end if it comes out after my trip. The Rough Guide to Turkey is decent but no match for LP. For one thing, it doesn't give hotel prices. Granted, it does list the websites of the various hotels, but when you're sitting on a bus bouncing over a dusty countryside frantically searching for a place to stay in the town up ahead, a URL doesn't do much good. Argghhh...

The first 5-6 days are tentatively set (and of course, all is subject to change) onward ho!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Itinerary: Slowly but Surely

Today I realized that my trip begins in a little under 6 weeks and I haven't done any planning at all. So I plopped myself down in front of my bee-yoo-tiful new laptop (Windows Vista has killer graphics!) and planned my little heart out...

May 3, 2007
Day 1 (Th): Leave Cincinnati for Istanbul
Day 2 (Fr): Arr. Istanbul in the early afternoon. Head to either the Hanedan Hotel, Hotel Sebnem, Yunus Emre Hotel, or Hotel Niles. All look nice and very reasonably priced (approximately 35-55/night). Do some sightseeing--possibly the Hippodrome, Hagia Sofia and the Yerebatan Cistern.
Day 3 (Sat): Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque
Day 4 (Sun): Boat ride up the Bosphorus. Wander around.
Day 5 (Mon): Leave for Izmir (high-speed ferry to Bandirma, then express train to Izmir). Arrive in Izmir around 2:30 pm, then catch a dolmus (minibus) to Selcuk.
Day 6 (Tue): Rent a car in Selcuk and head for Ephesus.

That's as far as I've gotten. After Selcuk, I plan to drive up to Cappadocia but want to stop along the way in Fethiye, maybe Kas, maybe... who knows? One of my ventures into a travel board forum got me an invitation to look up someone who lives in Cirali, which is off the Mediterranean coast, so I might stop there. Eventually I'll wind up in Goreme at some point, and then will start making my way back to Istanbul. I would love to visit Sanli(urfa) and Harran but I'm not sure if I will have the time to make it that far east.

(Click on map to see larger)