If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a hundred times: “We never could have put together a trip like this on our own.”

It’s our favorite comment, hands down, from guests who’ve just experienced the joy of a finely tuned Classic Journey. If you’ve ever tried keeping a small group-even your own family-happy, amused and actively engaged on vacation, you know that just having someone to handle the logistics is half the battle. With Classic Journeys, there’s no worrying about agendas, schedules, or how to get from Point A to Point B; it’s all taken care of by our experts on the ground.

One such expert is Cemil (say JEM-ul), head guide on our Turkey-The Turquoise Coast & Cappadocia Cultural Walking Adventure. He and his wife, Yasemin, who also conducts guided tours of Turkey, grew up in Ankara and now live in Antalya on the Turkish Riviera.

With his infectious enthusiasm, Cemil is the best ambassador a country could have…especially when he arrives in the U.S. bearing potent bottles of raki-Turkey’s unofficial “national drink”-to share with those lucky enough to cross his path.

Just last month, our paths crossed here in La Jolla, CA. Cemil and my wife, Susie, and I were delighted to be guests at a gala dinner at the home of Barbara and Dick Enberg, the celebrated sportscaster whose face and voice are known to millions of fans across the country.

Turkey guide with group

The Enbergs and their close friends traveled to Turkey with Classic Journeys this past June, with Cemil as their guide. By all accounts, they were thrilled with the experience, from spending four nights aboard a private gulet (teakwood yacht) to exploring the vineyards and valleys of ancient Cappadocia. With his trademark exuberance, Dick was kind enough to offer this wrap-up of their trip:

“Oh my! We were wowed by the magic of Istanbul, complemented by the serenity of the Mediterranean and the thrill of visiting 2000-year-old ruins. Turkey with Classic Journeys was absolutely fabulous. We look forward to doing it again.”

Thanks to Dick and Barbara for the day-brightener…as well as for a perfect Turkish-American evening where the travelers’ tales flowed as smoothly as the raki.

If you’ve traveled with a native guide who made your walking tour unforgettable, I’d love to hear about it. Just drop me an e-mail at blog@classicjourneys.com. And if you’d like more information about our trip to Turkey, please click here.