Subject: Greece, Turkey, Egypt
I would like to share with you some of our experiences in Turkey and Egypt, and traveling between countries.

First, If I wanted to spend some time in Italy I would take the train there from Germany. Then I would fly to Greece. When we were in Greece several years ago I researched the situation of going from Athens to Istanbul. It cost $200 to fly and the same amount to take the train which took 24 hours to get there!!

We have been to Turkey 3 times and love it. I recommend staying in Sultanahment while in Istanbul. We have never stayed in a hostel, ever, as we are too old for that. However, in Istanbul, we used the internet at a hostel that was right by the Four Seasons Hotel, a new hotel, remodled from an old prison. Anyway, the hostel looked wonderful. We used their facilities and they were clean, well kept, and we know some students who did stay there.

Some places not to miss in Istanbul after the highlights, are the Underground Cistern, the ship dock, Karakoy and its fish market and the ambience.

We found some real Turkish food at the Vitamin Restaurant. The Pudding shop is famous, but we liked the above place better for casual eating. Near the vitamin Restaurant are lots of restaurants that we very reasonable. About $1 for each item chosen.

I concur with all of those who suggest you have a car in Cappadocia. Nothing is walkable and I am not sure of the bus situation there. One thing you could do is take a 2 day tour of the area so as not to miss anything.

In Ankara, the Ataturk Museum and the other historical museum are fantastic--and we are not really museum people.

One other thing that we did on one of the visits was take a cruise up the Turquoise Coast. We have seen Ephesus, Pammukale, Konya, but the cruise up the coast was fantastic. There is one boat tour spot to start looking--called the Blue Voyage. We did it with a tour and we anchored at places, tendered in, did hikes, and the boat picked us up at another place.

In Egypt I would not wander about without an organized guide. We just returned from there and we had armed guards on the chartered busses. At one point the bus was stopped by police and we don't, of course, know what was said, but were allowed to proceed. There were metal dectors at all the hotels. They were going off constantly, but one was never searched. Our departure from the ship was delayed due to Egyptian procedures as well, and the ship was delayed going through the Suez to pick us up, also due to Egyptian delays.

October would be a nice month for Turkey. We did not experience rain there in October, the first time we went. Now, we did have rain in November just this last year--and a lot of it.

In Egypt, it was nice in November.

We also went to Croatia and that was a great experience. We had an English speaking taxi driver in Dubrovnik and he was willing to take up more places than we had time to go. People said that the roads were bad and that car rentals were expensive. We did not see any major roads that were bad and we did not even price car rentals.

BTW, if you plan to rent cars on this trip--make arrangements from home as on the spot arrangements are expensive in all countries. Once we had to sit in the airpost in San Francisco for 2-3 hours just to save a considerable amount of money because the pre-rented car that someone else was supposed to have done--did not do it, and we had to rent on the spot.

Gretchen South Carolina