Don't miss an opportunity to tour Ephesus with Turgrul
Reviewed October 26, 2015
Turgrul promptly met us at the dock at 7am with Mario and his comfortable Mercedes van. We did a driving tour of the area surrounding Ephesus while we waited for the gate to open at 8am. We were the first to enter and consequently had the entire venue to ourselves for most of our tour thanks to the walking route that Turgrul had planned. This was an extraordinary experience with a guide who quickly became our friend. His knowledge and 'big picture' outlook gave us a unique experience that related different cultures, religions and peoples. Turgrul had the experience to pull all of this together in a very entertaining way.
It felt like he filled our day even though it was only a 4 hour tour....and it was worth every penny. This was definitely the highlight of our 2 weeks in Greece.
Now, I had told my travel agent that absolutely NO rug shops should be on this tour prior to booking!! However, by the time we finished the amazing tour of Ephesus, we completely trusted Turgrul when he suggested we go to a place on the way back to view Turkish rugs. He stressed we were under no obligation and thought we would enjoy this weaving co-op because of our appreciation of history and culture. We agreed ...but I was skeptical. And boy, was I WRONG! This was like a 'living history' museum!! Zirve Rug is a co-op that appreciates women and their works of true art. Turgrul turned the tour over to a person who educated us on the co-op and it's mission. The 4 women demonstrated the spinning of the silk from the cocoons, then showed us their amazing weaving techniques. The men then offered us wine or Raki and proceeded to literally throw rugs around the room! This was to demonstrate the amazing color changes that occurred when the rug's position changed. We learned so much and gained so much respect for the women's skill and art. And there was NEVER any pressure whatsoever to buy anything.
We felt like we had gained a new friend on this tour with Turgrul. Don't miss this opportunity to enhance your visit to Kusadasi with a rewarding, educational and entertaining experience with Turgrul. He truly enjoys his job and takes a lot of pride in what he does.
One of our best guides anywhere!
Reviewed June 16, 2015
Tugrul was an amazing guide for us. First and foremost he is incredibly knowledgeable well beyond what we expected. Yes, he knows about Ephesus, the buildings, etc but he insists on using precise terminology (about, for example, the so-called "amphitheater"); he knows about engineering (and would talk about how the Romans built their aquaducts); about Pythagorus and what he taught people; about the marble and the sargophagi; about the type of labor it took to build the place; the details about the books in the Library and what the inscriptions say...and on and on. He didn't dump the information on us: He revealed it in response to questions so we never felt as though he was just going through rote reporting. He was listening to our specific interests. Amazing. THEN he also understood my husband's walking limitations and planned the visit so it was easy going. Because of this we also had the place almost completely to ourselves until we got to the Library. His flexibility with the tour was perfect but he was oh so right about insisting that we get all the way to the Library. (He threatened to carry my husband, which would have been amusing to see since he is much larger than Tugrul). When we wanted to go to a rug place at the last minute he called and arranged that. Then he took us to a lovely uncrowded restaurant where we got terrific fresh seafood that they were willing to prepare without salt...again for my husband. Tugrul was open to discussions about contemporary Turkey, about the situation with Armenians, relations with Greece...He was open, informed, and passionate about his love for his country. He was fine with the fact that we disagreed about some things...all done with an open heart and mind. We learned a lot about ancient and modern Turkey. Oh...and his English is close to perfect and where it wasn't he loved getting feedback to make it even better. In sum, intelligent, knowledgeable, flexible, kind, open minded and eager to learn. What more can one get in a guide? He is now, I hope, a friend.
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