TURKEY GRAND TOUR
with Dr. Robert M. Schoch, Ph.D.
13-26 JUNE 2015
The Greatest Ancient Wonders of Anatolia – Adventures Exploring the Roots of Civilization
Join world-renowned geologist, scholar, and author, Dr. Robert Schoch, for an incredible 14-day comprehensive tour exploring the archaeology, history, culture, and natural beauty of Turkey – the region rightfully referred to as the "Cradle of Civilization".
1. Introducing Dr. Robert Schoch – Our Host for the Tour
There is no better person to guide you when it comes to ancient sites and geological wonders than Dr. Robert M. Schoch. Classically trained (Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from Yale University), Dr. Schoch has been a fulltime faculty member at Boston University since 1984. For over two decades Dr. Schoch has been studying ancient civilizations around the world, in such diverse countries as Egypt, Turkey, Bosnia, Romania, Wales, Scotland, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Chile (Easter Island), Indonesia, and Japan.
In the early 1990s, Dr. Schoch's geological analyses of the Great Sphinx demonstrated that the statue is thousands of years older than the conventional dating of 2500 BCE, bringing him worldwide fame. This work has been both controversial and pivotal in reshaping our understanding of the origin and history of civilization. Recent discoveries in Turkey, particularly at Göbekli Tepe (which Dr. Schoch has studied extensively, and which is on the itinerary for this tour), confirm the very ancient origins of civilization, going back to the end of the last ice age some 12,000 years ago. For more information about Dr. Robert Schoch, visit his personal website: www.robertschoch.com
"It is really going to be an extraordinary adventure, so I would encourage you to endeavor to join us, because we never know if we are going to be able do it again. This will be a unique experience. This is not where one just goes with a conventional tour guide. We will bring our own perspective, our own passion, our own personal research to the trip. I can guarantee you that while we are together we will all be seeing new things. We will be exploring the sites, ideas, and the beauty of the country together. This will be a very different experience – one not to be missed."- Dr. Robert M. Schoch
2. The highlight of our tour will be a special entrance to Göbekli Tepe.
"This place is a supernova" - said Dr. Klaus Schmidt - the main archeologist excavating Göbekli Tepe, "Within a minute of first seeing it I knew I had two choices: go away and tell nobody, or spend the rest of my life working here."
Göbekli Tepe mystifies and astounds archaeologists, historians, and researchers. Nobody knows how to explain the site or why it was purposefully buried and its founding civilization decimated - nobody, that is, until now! After studying Göbekli Tepe firsthand, Dr. Schoch has developed an insightful theory that addresses the grand mystery of antediluvian civilization. His new proposition, based on solid scientific evidence, involves solar (plasma) outbursts occurring 12,000 to 10,000 years ago that caused massive devastation to the surface of Earth, brought a rapid end to the last ice age, and in the process created huge floods globally, as fire struck glaciers and oceans, releasing torrents of rain. Within this framework many megalithic monuments, underground cities (such as we will see on this tour in Cappadocia), as well as ancient myths and legends, fall into place. This new research is discussed in Dr. Schoch's latest book, Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future, and he will share his insights during our tour of Turkey.
DAY 1 - Arrival to Istanbul (13 June 2015)
Guests arrive in Turkey. A representative of The Time of a New Era company will welcome our guests at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, then assist with checking in to a hotel in Istanbul that is situated very close to the most popular part of the city, "Sultanahmet". After the check-in process at the hotel, our guests will have a rest. In the evening we will have dinner and a welcoming meeting with Dr. Robert Schoch. Overnight at the hotel in Istanbul.
DAY 2 - Istanbul - The Old City (14 June 2015)
Istanbul - one of the greatest cities in the world, capital of the Byzantine Empire.
After breakfast, we will leave the hotel and visit the Sultanahmet district, called the "historical peninsula". First we will visit various Ottoman ruins and after that the Blue Mosque, the most important mosque in Istanbul with its more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles and 200 stained glass windows. Next we will discover and enjoy beautiful examples of Ottoman art at Topkapi Palace (first Ottoman palace in Istanbul), followed by lunch near the Blue Mosque. After lunch, we visit iconic Byzantine monuments including the St. Sophia Museum (Hagia Sophia, the former Byzantine Church) – the greatest surviving example of Byzantine architecture. Next we will explore the underground Basilica Cistern, which was the main water provider for Constantinople, and we will also visit the Byzantine Hippodrome where we will view beautiful obelisks and columns from the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman periods. In the evening, we will return to the hotel for dinner. Overnight at the hotel in Istanbul.
DAY 3 - Troy & Canakkale (15 June 2015)
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and drive to Troy via the European part of Turkey known as "Thrace". When we arrive in Eceabat we will have lunch by the water and then take the ferry across the Dardanelles to the Asian side of Turkey – Canakkale. After that we visit ancient Troy, which was a city both factual and legendary. It is best known for being described in the Greek Epic Cycle and especially in the Iliad (one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer). Besides visiting the well-preserved ruins of the ancient city, we will see a replica of the Trojan Horse. Overnight at the hotel in Assos Dove.
DAY 4 - Pergamon, Ephesus & Selcuk (16 June 2015)
Ephesus – once the most important commercial center of the ancient world, a religious center of early Christianity, and today a unique and amazingly well preserved ancient city that attracts visitors from around the world.
After breakfast we will check out of the hotel. We will drive to Pergamon, which is located in the modern city of Bergama. Here we'll take a cable car up the mountain to visit the ancient Akropolis. Then we drive to Ephesus where we will see the best-preserved and restored Hellenistic-Early Roman age city; here St. Paul lived and preached for a time. We will also visit the ruins of the Artemis Temple in Selcuk, one of the classic wonders of the ancient world. Overnight at the hotel in Kusadasi.
DAY 5 - The House of the Virgin Mary, Dalyan, and Kounos (17 June 2015)
In the morning we visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a sacred shrine located on Mt. Koressos. Discovered in the nineteenth century, this stone house has been a site of pilgrimage for over a century. The faithful believe it is the place where St. John brought Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to reside at the end of her life. We then move on to the beautiful area of Dalyan from which we will take a two-hour boat ride to view the ruins of Kaunos. The rock-cut tombs along the riverbanks, traditionally dated back to the 9th century B.C. and earlier, are enveloped in mystery.
DAY 6 - Kekova, Demre (18 June 2015)
Today we visit the city of Demre, near the ancient Roman city of Myra. This was an important locality in ancient times. St. Paul stopped here during his travels, and St. Nicholas (who inspired the legend of Santa Claus) was bishop of Myra in the fourth century. Incredible ancient ruins are preserved here. We will also visit, via boat, the small island of Kekova to view the underwater ruins (sometimes referred to as the Kekova Castle) which can be seen from the boat. We will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the clear turquoise waters.
DAY 7 - CATALHOYUK ruins (19 June 2015)
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and drive to Konya. On the way to Konya we visit the Mevlana Museum (home of the Whirling Dervishes). It is one of the most important religious and mystical sites of Turkey. After lunch in Konya we visit Catalhoyuk ruins – one of the world's earliest known cities dating back nearly 10,000 years! Catalhoyuk is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic settlement currently known and is considered one of the key sites for understanding human prehistory. It is an active archaeological site rarely visited by typical tourists.
DAY 8 - Asiklihoyuk (20 June 2015)
Today we tour the important but seldom visited Neolithic site of Asiklihoyuk in Central Turkey, which dates back to the 8th millennium B.C. Here was found an incredible obsidian (volcanic glass) bracelet from circa 7500 B.C. that presents a genuine enigma. Based on modern laboratory analyses, it was made using highly specialized manufacturing techniques that seem to be out of place for such an early period. This, along with a wealth of other evidence, indicates that peoples at that remote period were much more advanced than is generally believed to be the case. Next we head for Cappadocia, arriving in the late afternoon in time to take in some of the local culture of the region.
DAY 9 - Cappadocia (21 June 2015)
Cappadocia - the timeless and fantastic bare rock landscape of valleys and mountains, rock-cut churches, and mysterious ancient underground cities. This region is a geological wonder in its own right, forming a "lost world."
We spend the full day in Cappadocia. After breakfast we drive to either the Kaymakli or Derinkuyu Underground City (depending on availability), both large and mysterious underground cities with numerous stories. We will also visit the Zelve Museum. Lunch will be in Avanos, and after that we will go to Urgup, which is known for its famous dwellings built right within cliffs and caves, for its wines, and for its hand-made carpets. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
DAY 10 – Mount Nemrut (22 June 2015)
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and drive to Nemrut (Kahta). On our way there we will visit Karatayhan Caravanserai. We will have lunch and a break in Kahramanmaras, which is famous for its typical Turkish ice cream made from goat’s milk. When we arrive in Kahta we will check in at the hotel and then quickly leave so we can admire the sunset from the peak of Mount Nemrut.
This is a world-famous ancient megalithic site and one of the most interesting tourist attractions of Turkey. It is often considered the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World. At the summit of this approximately 2000-meter mountain lie the ruins of the ancient Commagene Kingdom, which was at its height of power during the 1st century B.C. The most remarkable feature of the Mount Nemrut site is the giant stone heads of ancient gods. It is said to be the king's tomb, although no grave has ever been found there. Who really built it and why? How far back might it date? It is still a mystery even today. After enjoying the sunset we will drive back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Kahta (Nemrut).
DAY 11 - GÖBEKLI TEPE & Urfa (23 June 2015)
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and drive to Urfa. On our way we will see the biggest dam in Turkey, built on the Euphrates River. We will pass Urfa and drive to Harran, which is a place full of surprises, with its Arabic culture, colorful people, old historic buildings, and ancient Islamic university. Then we drive to Göbekli Tepe where we will spend the afternoon. Göbekli Tepe is an incredibly old, yet extremely sophisticated, site, predating the conventional date for Stonehenge by 6,000 years. In the evening we will check into the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Urfa.
Day 12 - GÖBEKLI TEPE & Urfa Archeology Museum (24 June 2015)
We will return to Göbekli Tepe in the morning for a further visit to this incredibly important site. One aspect of Göbekli Tepe is that the light and visibility varies from the morning to the evening, so to see all of the structures and carvings to best advantage, one must visit it in both the afternoon (as we did the previous day) and in the morning. We return to Urfa for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Urfa Archeology Museum to view a number of ancient artifacts, including incredible stone sculptures, one resembling a totem pole, excavated at Göbekli Tepe.
DAY 13 - Urfa - Istanbul (25 June 2015)
After breakfast we check out of the hotel. We walk through the beautiful flower-filled gardens along the Pools of Abraham with their maze of canals full of thousands of carp fish, which are held sacred and fed by the local people. We will also walk to the Cave of Abraham where, according to a local legend, the prophet Abraham was born. After this visit we will transfer to the airport in Urfa and fly to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 14 - Depart from Istanbul (26 June 2015)
After breakfast we bid each other a warm farewell, check out of the hotel, head to the airport, and fly back home.
4. Terms & Conditions
Price per person: $3980 USD for double room (deposit is only $800 during booking!).
If you would like to have a single room you have to pay extra $790.
$800 deposit during booking.
Full payment must be received by the 1st April 2015.
Dr. Robert Schoch as our tour-host.
13-nights stay at good hotels.
3 meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
English speaking guide.
Transfers in air-conditioned buses.
Reception at Istanbul International airport.
Airport Arrival & Departure transfers
Domestic flight from Urfa/Gaziantep
International flights to/from Istanbul in Turkey and Travel Insurance.
Visa cost (visas cost $20 and are issued on arrival at Istanbul airport).
Drinks during lunches and dinners
We encourage you to book this tour as soon as possible, because the number of places is limited. Please contact us for more information and for details - firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: the phone contact is available 5 days a week – Monday to Friday – during our office hours: 10am - 3pm EST (Eastern Standard Time/New York Time) or 3pm - 8pm GMT (Greenwich Meantime; British time).
USA phone: +1 (917) 719 19 74
Great Britain phone: +44 (203) 026 65 03
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