Subject: Turkey
We travelled with Maupintour with a group of about 20. From the time we landed in Ankara to leaving Istanbul, the entire trip was by coach. We were there about two weeks, and saw a good part of western Turkey. If you love archeological sites, Turkey is the place to go. It is far more than just Ephesus! It is possible to drive yourself since the main roads are quite good, but there is so much to see that a small group is probably a good idea.

I can help you with the shopping! Rugs are one thing that you should look into, especially in central Turkey. There are cooperatives that gather rugs from all over the country. Each region's rugs are very different. The wool rugs are nice; the silk are magnificent, and priced accordingly. In Istanbul, the main market is as good or better than the Khan in Cairo. I bought a hammered copper tray that, of course, would not fit in the luggage and I ended up schlepping it home. I still love it, however, and it was worth it. Also in Istanbul is the Egyptian Market which is largely a spice market. It also has stalls with everyday goods that the Turkish people buy for themselves. There we all bought steel skewers with different animals on the ends in brass. For about US $2 I bought a dozen. Here, I saw them for about $25 for six. Of course, that was a few years ago, and the prices have probably gone up!

Turkey is a wonderful place.

Lisa Chicago