Tuesday, October 14, 2008

To be or not to be....off to Turkey

After months of indecisiveness we are setting for our annual wedding anniversary holiday (22nd October) early tomorrow morning. We are off to Turkey - Istanbul and Cappadoccia.
Our earlier international holidays to Thailand and Malaysia were fairly simple and we did not did take much time deciding on the destination.
But this is how it happened this time:
  1. It's our seventh anniversary so we should be some place special
  2. Let's go to Egypt
  3. Hotels seem dicey, let's got to Turkey
  4. Prices don't seem that different to let's do Prague, Vienna, Budapest
  5. Too many visas why don't you go to Switzerland, prices are similar
  6. It will be too cold let's look at Turkey again
  7. Egypt hotels aren't too bad, I know of a couple of good places. Us - OK let's book that
  8. Egypt hotels aren't available during your anniversary (22nd, October) as there is a car rally
  9. OK let's look at Turkey
  10. Which hotels?
  11. Oh can you give us Switzerland options too?
  12. If you recommend Marmara at Istanbul, are the bathrooms good there? My wife is very particular! The whole holiday hinges on this.b
  13. We don't want to go too many places. We are keen on history. No amusement parks or packaged tours please
  14. OK knock of Anatolia, let's look at Istanbul, Cappadoccia and Pammukale for Troy and Ephesus
  15. Flying to so many places in Turkey is too expensive, can we drop one? Which one?
  16. Ok Cappadoccia and Istanbul it is
  17. Hold on, we can't spend our anniversary in airports...let's leave Bombay a day earlier
  18. Cave hotels at Cappadoccia? Sounds interesting. Go ahead. Deluxe rooms? Go ahead

Of course my finances collapsed well before the global crash. But at least our holiday plans were settled.

Point 7 is where Arvind Tandon of Faraway Places (+91 22 26335070) stepped in. He counselled us when we were completely at sea. He had been to both Turkey and Egypt and could speak authoritatively on both which gave me a lot of confidence. He then put us on to his colleague Dilber Mistry. Dilber saw us through points 7 to 18, patiently answering the emails I'd fire by the minute and responding to our changing plans without our murmur. She too had been to Turkey and could advise us from experience including on specific stuff on hotels, cost of eating and so on. That was a great help.

The experience so far has been exactly what we would like from a travel agency and something tells me that the trip will be fantastic too. In fact Arvind and Dilber were sweet enough to insist on meeting Kainaz and me today before we left so that they could brief us in person and answer any questions that we had. I was quite impressed and touched by that.

I know look forward to returning on the 25th with lot of interesting stuff on Turkey to put on faraway diaries. I don't know if the coincidence struck you but Arvind's agency is called 'faraway places'.

Do write in with your comments. I love reading them and will publish them once I am back on the 25th of October.


Serendipity said...

Have fun! :)

hobgoblin said...

have a great anniversary and hope its a good trip. some day i hope to be a jetsetter too.

The knife said...

@Serendipity: I did, thanks

@Hobgoblin: jetsetter? some day? You are already in the new world if I remember right :)

hobgoblin said...

aah yes. but you see im still a student which is not exactly conducive to a champagne lifestyle! he he...but i hope to start my travel diaries by seeing more of australia though. its a beautiful country.
how was turkey?

The knife said...

@Hobgoblin: well the furthest i travel to in colege was to North Calcutta (College St) which was a world away in the days before the Metro connected both. Central station was operational only in my 3rd yr at presi.

My dad was the jet setter in the family. After being born in Borishaal to a very humble family he went to the UK to study and lived abraod for 14 yrs and went all over W Europe, Japan and stayed in iran too. So in a sense I saw the world in my nappies! And it was all over before I could realise it.

Both my wife and I love travelling so this is our major expense. And we feel that going abroad gives us a different experience for a reasonably similar sum in comparison to tourist unfriendly India.

Professionals in India travel abroad at a much younger stage than we did. In fact lot of my jrs go abroad for their honeymoon so don't get impatient. I am sure you will pop the bubbly very soon

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