Dear Kazim, This is too long in coming; we apologize. We wanted you to know how wonderful our first experience of Turkey was, from beginning to end, all 1400 miles of it. We really related to something you said the last evening. You mentioned that seeing that much of Turkey meant long bus rides, but that it was a wonderful way to see much of the country. This is exactly what Mike and I so appreciated: being able to sit and look out of large, clean, bus windows, not having to bother about driving (and feeling exceptionally safe with Sherif at the wheel), and absorb every detail of the country we possibly could. The part of the Anatolian plateau that we saw we found beautiful, with ripening green wheat, long-range views, and carefully tended fields. Seeing people working and herding livestock and going about their business, watching the dogs watch the livestock, seeing how carefully people tended their land or the land they were working, and noting different methods of farming were of great interest to us. There were some similarities to northern New Mexico, USA, and some very interesting differences that showed a more holistic way of doing things than is often done in the USA. Even the bus stops were enjoyable, because that was one of the ways we could interact with Turkish people. I was so glad I had learned a little Turkish before we went on this trip, because people responded so positively to my clumsy attempts to make contact. Some of our best interactions were with Turkish school children visiting museums and ruins. They were thrilled to have someone to practice English with, and I was thrilled to be able to practice my Turkish! The food was truly wonderful, and healthy, and fresh, and we found Istanbul so stimulating, charming, different, memorable. I've been to seven other countries, and Mike has been to more, but we both found Turkey to be more unique than all the others, and with an exhilarating energy and day-to-day vibrancy that was a pleasant surprise to us. So it was a terrific trip for us. But part of the enjoyment was absolutely due to Burcu Tokgoz- both her personality and her skills as a tour guide. We were amazed at her ability to show up every morning full of spirit and good will, and she was a wealth of knowledge, knowing so much about so many subjects. Yes, it would have been nice to have had more free time, but all one had to do was look at the schedule and see all the places we were going to visit and all the miles we were going to travel to realize that this was going to be an event-packed trip! Burcu was always ready to help out, always ready to fight for us as a group and individually. She really worked to get us to the more popular spots at a time when the big populations of cruise ships weren't converging there at the same time, and she also was always looking for special opportunities for us that were off the beaten track. She did all this, plus helping to take care of one woman who broke a bone in her foot. She is an absolute gem; a real ambassador for Turkey. And again, Sherif the bus driver (I'm sorry I don't know his last name) was a terrific driver. It was the smoothest bus ride I've ever been on, and all the guys (and some of us women who like to drive) marveled at his driving skills. He was also a very decent, responsible person, and obviously a hard worker. So, not to bend your ear to the ground, I'll close with saying that from now on we'll always be tooting the horn for Turkey. We know there are problems and challenges, as there are in any country, but we have great faith in the capacity of the Turkish people to tackle the issues of the day. This is the first real trip we've been able to make since our wonderful daughter died of cancer in 2005, and we are so grateful that we were finally able to get ourselves out of the door and into a different world. Thank you and Baltac Tours so much for helping to make this such a unforgettable experience. Best wishes to you and Burcu