wide-body jet departs JFK bound for Cairo. Turkish Airlines or British
Airways. We maintain the right to use any IATAN accredited international
air carrier. Dinner is served on board.
TO ISTANBUL! Friday (D)
Tour starts in Istanbul : Fridays. For private touring arrive ANY
day. We meet your flight at Istanbul's Atatürk International
Airport and escort you to your hotel located in the heart of the
city's historic district. After freshening up, we visit the spectacular
Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, followed by dinner at our hotel.
the locals, come closer to the real world of women Egypt & Anatolia
2 - ISTANBUL'S TOP SIGHTS Saturday (BL)
Today we explore Istanbul's top sights, including the imperial palace
of Topkapi, with its sumptuous 500-room Harem, ruled by the second
most powerful person in the vast Ottoman Empire: the Valide Sultan
(Queen Mother). A short walk takes us to the Byzantine Hippodrome
and, beneath it, the eerie Sunken Palace cistern. Finally, we dive
into the Grand Bazaar, the world's oldest "shopping mall," to look
for treasures in its 4000 shops.
3 - ISTANBUL,
BELLE EPOQUE Sunday
Constantinople in the Belle Epoque" (late 19th century), the exotic
romance of the
"Paris of the East:"
walking tour of Istanbul :
We start with our lady guide in Karaköy where the foreign bankers
and shipping companies had their headquarters, then take the Tünel
up to istiklal Caddesi; stop in the whirling dervish tekke,
and walk past the various old embassy buildings (now consulates),
and point out the architecture.
Stop for tea (included) at the famous Pera Palace Hotel.
Walk at least as far as Galatasaray Square, and have lunch
in the Çicek Pasaji (Flower Passage); then walk up to Taksim
Square and be picked up for the afternoon tour.
In the afternoon the tour visit Yildiz Palace Park and the
Ihlamur Kasri, a mini-palace south of Yildiz, and finish up with
a visit to the Military History Museum in Harbiye in time to hear
the "Mehter," or Ottoman military band (mid-afternoon). Continue
by car/coach to
the mouth of the Golden Horn, we delve into the colorful sights,
vibrant sounds and intriguing scents of the Egyptian Market (Spice
Bazaar) before returning to our hotel.
4 - ISTANBUL to CAPPADOCIA Monday (BD)
A morning flight takes us across Anatolia ("Great Mother" in Turkish)
to Kayseri, from which we drive into the eerie volcanic landscape
of biblical Cappadocia. We settle in at the Ottoman House Hotel
( Or Similar), in the afternoon, we explore the foremost sights
in this historic, visually striking region. Our first stop is the
Göreme Open Air Museum, with its dozens of ancient cave-churches
carved from the soft volcanic stone. Many still contain their beautiful
colored fresco decoration. Next we explore the monastic valley of
Zelve, where whole monasteries were carved into the rock. In the
Pasabag and Dervent valleys we view the "fairy chimneys," pinnacles
of volcanic rock formed by wind and water erosion over millennia.
We enjoy a panorama of the Red and Rose Valleys before we head back
for our hotel to enjoy a typical Turkish dinner.
5 - EXPLORING CAPPADOCIA Tuesday (BLD)
We drive across the rolling steppe of Central Anatolia to the town
of Derinkuyu and descend into an underground labyrinth carved thousands
of years ago. Hundreds of cave-rooms and passageways descend eight
levels into the earth. Storerooms, kitchens, larders, and churches
show that this "underground city" was capable of housing thousands
of people when danger threatened. On our way back to our hotel we
stop at the striking Agzikarahan Caravansaray, built by the Seljuk
Turks in the 11th century as a way-station for the rich camel caravans
plying the Silk Route between Europe and Asia. Late afternoon drive
to Avnos , a traditional potter- making town to visit the local
artisans, and admire the fine detailing of the famous Iznic ceramic
designs. In the evening we visit an underground restaurant for a
traditional Turkish folklore show, with dances and costumes from
several regions rich in folklore, including Gaziantep, the Mediterranean,
and the Black Sea. The mysterious and alluring art of belly-dancing,
and an enjoyable evening of traditional Turkish dance.
6 - CAPPADOCIA LIFESTYLE WALK Wednesday (BLD)
Morning tour of the small local bustling vegetables, fruit and spice
market. Enjoy meeting locals as they do their daily shopping. Now
that we've seen the highlights, it's time to really enter into the
daily life of women in Cappadocia. We visit local cave homes in
rockhewn villages set in spectacular valleys off the beaten track,
and learn from local women how to prepare and cook several Cappadocian
culinary specialties. Depending upon the season, we may pick fresh
grapevine leaves to make dolma, or use a slender rolling pin to
roll the dough for manti (Turkish ravioli), or prepare fresh vegetables
for a savory lamb stew cooked in an earthenware crock. Best of all,
we get to enjoy our culinary creations for lunch! In the late afternoon,
choose any of several activities depending upon your interests.
One of the most popular is to learn how beautiful Turkish kilims
and carpets are created by talented Turkish female artists: we watch
carpets being woven, and talk with the artists creating them. Evening
at leisure. Dinner is served back at our hotel.
7 - CANYONS & LABYRINTHS Thursday (BL)
This morning we'll enjoy a brief demonstration by the Ottoman
House's Chef, on the dishes served to the Sultans and Sultanas
including a variety of traditional meze (Turkish hors d'oeuvres)
made with eggplant, garlic, spiced yoghurts, salad greens, and goat
cheese; oven baked lamb or skewered meats; and plump figs, apricots
and nuts. Food- you may join in , try your hand in Ottoman cooking
, memories--are twice as good when you make them yourself! Enjoy
lunch at the Ottoman House and the meal you help prepared. Afternoon
8 - WHITE VALLEY WALK Friday (BLD)
We continue our explorations of Cappadocia with a visit to the natural
rockhewn citadel of Uchisar, one of the highest points in Cappadocia,
and the nearby Pigeon Valley. Then we take a leisurely 1-1/2-hour
stroll through the lunar landscape of the White Valley to see its
spectacular rock pillars, fairy chimneys, tunnels, caves and passages.
Our walk ends in a lavish picnic lunch, after which we return to
Göreme village to meet local women in their homes We share
in delicious sweets ! The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy
as you wish. You may wish to wander through Goreme's winding streets
and alleys to observe daily village life, or sit and sip in a sidewalk
cafe, or do some shopping, or write postcards. If you're up for
more adventure, just ask us about our many optional activities and
tours. Evening farewell dinner.
9 - MONASTERIES & MARKETS/ ISTANBUL Saturday (BL)
Today we visit some of the most interesting sights in Cappadocia:
the striking scenery and cave churches of the Pancarlik Valley,
the Keklik Monastery complex in Soganli Valley, and the Ottoman
village of Mustafapasa, filled with graceful old Greek and Turkish
houses. Afterwards we drive to the airport for your flight back
to Istanbul and your hotel.
10 - CAIRO Sunday (B)
Fly south across the Mediterranean to the Nile Kingdom: Egypt.
Our staff meets you at Cairo airport and escorts you to your deluxe
hotel: Sheraton,Royal Meridien or Hilton.
Visa fee is included & issued upon arrival. Your passport must
be valid for at least 6 month beyond the date of arrival. Valid
only for American, Australian, NZ, Western European Canadian,and
Welcome Fruit basket/Hotel room.
11 - CAIRO Monday (aBL)
We start with the best of Cairo: the Egyptian Museum, Citadel of
Saladin and its Alabaster Mosque, where you will participate in
a " Q & A " presentation on "Women
in Islam " as well as "Women in Egypt".
After lunch at a charming local restaurant, we wander through the
alleys of the 12-century district of Khan el-Khalili with it's Caravanserai,
Medieval Trade Centers , and bazaar shops that changed little since
12-13 century. You 'll have some time to wander on your own maybe
in search of souvenirs.
Finally we walk the narrow streets of Old Cairo, once a Roman fort,
later the Jewish Quarter, then the Coptic Christian Quarter. We
visit the Coptic churches of Abu Serghius and Al Molaka, the Coptic
Museum, and Ben Ezra synagogue. While we are at one of the
churches or the Coptic Museum we'll discuss how the Nile Delta environment
and local Egyptian tradition has affected women in the Nile Valley
regardless of their religion. Evening Sound& Light show at Giza
12 - MEET AMERICAN & EUROPEAN WOMEN IN CAIRO
the morning, we visit the majestic pyramids of Giza, the
Valley Temple and the timeless Sphinx. After lunch we drive to Dahshour,
the newly opened pyramid field south of Cairo. We visit several
ancient structures, including the great pyramid built by Senfru,
father of Cheops.
our way back to Cairo , we stop at the village of Harania, after
a brief tour we'll have a group discussion , that will include an
American or a European woman /women who settled in Cairo to share
their own insight on/about the Egyptian Society & Egyptian Women.
These guests will join you for lunch at a charming local restaurant
In the evening, we board our first-class sleeper train. Dinner is
served in our private compartments as we speed southward along the
banks of the Nile.
13 - LUXOR Wednesday (aBL)
We leave our train for a full buffet or American breakfast at your
hotel, after which we cross the Nile to visit the Valley of the
Kings , including King Tut's Tomb, and the Colossi of Memnon.
Return to your hotel for lunch .
In the afternoon we tour the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak, and
visit the Sacred Lake and red granite quarries with their unfinished
obelisk. As well as the great Luxor temple of Amon Ra .Evening Sound
& Light show at Karnak
14 - CAIRO Thursday (aBL)
Morning tour of one of the local girls school, you may wish to bring
with you a small gift of school supplies , pencils, notebooks etc.
to give to the children , then we are off to visit the small and
yet charming Luxor museum. Later in the day and after lunch we head
for the airport for our flight back to Cairo, and our hotel.
DAY 15 - RETURN HOME Friday (B)
We escort you to the airport for your onward or homeward flight.
are in US $ and are (per person)
Minimum required : 2 Guests