- It's our seventh anniversary so we should be some place special
- Let's go to Egypt
- Hotels seem dicey, let's got to Turkey
- Prices don't seem that different to let's do Prague, Vienna, Budapest
- Too many visas why don't you go to Switzerland, prices are similar
- It will be too cold let's look at Turkey again
- Egypt hotels aren't too bad, I know of a couple of good places. Us - OK let's book that
- Egypt hotels aren't available during your anniversary (22nd, October) as there is a car rally
- OK let's look at Turkey
- Which hotels?
- Oh can you give us Switzerland options too?
- If you recommend Marmara at Istanbul, are the bathrooms good there? My wife is very particular! The whole holiday hinges on this.b
- We don't want to go too many places. We are keen on history. No amusement parks or packaged tours please
- OK knock of Anatolia, let's look at Istanbul, Cappadoccia and Pammukale for Troy and Ephesus
- Flying to so many places in Turkey is too expensive, can we drop one? Which one?
- Ok Cappadoccia and Istanbul it is
- Hold on, we can't spend our anniversary in airports...let's leave Bombay a day earlier
- 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.