It is with regret that I read that this tour is no longer available. I know when we traveled to Eastern Turkey our group was one of only a couple of groups of tourists that we saw but that was the beauty of travel – to be off the beaten path.
You will miss:
Ankara – the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations – truly a great history of Turkey;
Amasya – the town on the Green River with Lycian tombs – a great town with wonderful old Ottoman homes along the river;
Trabzon – the “Natashas” – Russian ladies of the night and rats the size of cats;
Barhal Valley (was no longer offered after 2007) but the frost would freeze you even with all your clothes on; the great Sumela Seminary hanging on the edge of a cliff;
Ani – a wind-swept old abandoned city – a city that in time immoral believed that everyone – Muslim, Jew and Christian had a place in the city;
Kars – city where the Russians came to buy jewellery – especially gold;
Ishak Pasa – a beautiful sight overlooking the valley – no wonder the architect had his hands cut off – your home is your castle and you don’t want another one just like it;
Van/Lake Van/Tatvan – the Akdamar Island and ferry to the island to see the church and graves – unforgettable (lots of military and trucks);
Mardin – following the Tigris River and enroute see Hasankeyf and see people still living in caves; Mardin a city of contrast – various heights of past civilizations within the same city; great restaurants;
Mt. Nemrut – the various Gods on both the east and west side of the mountain and the long steep climb to the top; ferry across the Euphrates (another biblical river); vast barren landscape – think Siberia!
Derinkuyu – underground city enroute to Cappadocia and walking tour through Rose Valley to see all the various shapes and sizes of the “chimneys” and to stay in Avanos at the Sofa Hotel
We believed that Eastern Turkey was the best part of Turkey as you got to see everyday living – the men and boys in their suits no matter how poor; the girls and women doing the chores and tending the animals in the field.
Now these will just be memories that others won’t get to shares as this tour is no longer! Perhaps you can get a great driver/guide like we had with Mustafa and Arif.