Tag Archives: vendors

Video: Ker & Downey Promo

Willamette Intl Travel books clients with Ker & Downey for unforgettable experiences in Asia, Africa, and worldwide. Call us now for details. 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Emirates, Ker & Downey, Vendors, Videos

Walking Softly Adventures and Mountain Hiking Holidays

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As a tie-in with last week’s post on excursions abroad, let us introduce one of our fantastic vendors for walking and hiking journeys, Walking Softly Adventures and Mountain Hiking Holidays. These two companies are run by some great friends of ours, John and Amy Osaki, and over the last 16 years, many clients and even some relatives of ours have thoroughly enjoyed the trips!

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If a cultural walking tour is more your thing, take a look at Walking Softly. They offer occasional tours that immerse you in local history, art and architecture. As an art historian and former museum professional, Amy leads the Art Tours through a variety of culturally rich destinations, including Boston, Paris, Japan, Russia, and most recently in April, Italy. Her tours encourage you to explore art “in situ” for a deeper understanding of the local history. There are only two or three Walking Softly trips offered each year, and these trips sell out quickly, so be sure to let WIT know if you are interested in information about the next Art Tour by Amy. Upcoming destinations include New York, Japan with cherry blossoms, the Silk Road in China, Moscow and St Petersburg, and the museums of Spain!

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If hiking a mountain trail is more your pace, check out Mountain Hiking Holidays—which runs frequent trips to the mountains of Patagonia, the Dolomites, the Pyrenees, the Julian Alps, the volcanoes of Japan’s Hokkaido island—and many more. Three meals daily are often included in these treks, over peaks, through monasteries and temples, and around lakes. Sleep comfortably in your private room with private bath, and carry only a day pack with your water and jacket on the trail. Past park rangers and current mountaineers, John and Amy have hiked and climbed mountains on four continents. Their skilled international team holds certificates and licenses in mountain guiding, have received rigorous training, and take great pleasure in leading you on the trail. Consider a mountain hiking trip in South America, Europe, Asia, or North America. Ask WIT to keep you posted about Mountain Hiking Holidays’ a new 5-day spring hiking escape to the spectacular red rock country of Utah in April 2013, and the new winter hiking trip for the mountains of the Galapagos islands of Ecuador early in 2014!

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Groups are typically small and intimate, or can be customized to accommodate private departures. Running less than 20 trips a year allows John and Amy to really put care and love into each and every one of their adventures!

All photos are courtesy of Mountain Hiking Holidays. 

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Filed under Features, Guest Writers, Travel by Backpack, VOTM

Vendor of the Month: Melitour

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Melitour is a family business run by Meli and her daughter Asli, offering private and group tours that combine sightseeing and trekking with cultural education. Most of her tours feature her homeland of Turkey, but she also coordinates travel opportunities throughout Central Asia, Mongolia, China and the Arab World.

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Ephesus

Meli has spent 39 years working in guided cultural tours, her experience and efforts have culminated in some incredible, authentic and exciting tours. Her genuine, gracious, and erudite guides are selected for their years of experience and all possess deep appreciation for their country. And there’s a bonus: tips, excursions and bathroom entrance fees are all-inclusive!

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Pamukkale

Meli goes an extra mile making sure her guests are welcome and well-educated. She helps you understand modern Turkey, its unique blend of old world tradition and up-to-date values, and is well-versed in Anatolian history, Islam, Sufism and Turkish cuisine. If nothing else, her clients’ feedback are praise enough: “If you want to be a traveler, and not just a tourist. If you want to broaden your knowledge and understanding of an ancient people and their fantastic history” (Janice B., CA). She has also worked with Rick Steves on videos in Turkey, and comes annually to the USA and Canada to conduct presentations on her tours.

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Cappadocia

She also offers special interest tours: past themes have included pottery and tiles, cruises, viewing 2006’s solar eclipse in Turkey, riding the Black Train, and yachting on the Turkish Riviera and the Greek islands.

For some firsthand accounts of a Melitour, check out: http://ltburgess.tripod.com/

Willamette International Travel is proud to have been working with Meli for years now. Call us for info or to book a tour, at 503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Istanbul

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TURKISH SPLIT BELLY EGGPLANT

Meli also holds cooking classes and dinners on her farm not far from Ephesus and Kusadasi. Check out one of the farm’s Turkish delights, Karniyarik—split belly eggplant:

 

Ingredients

1 lb small eggplant, peeled in stripes lengthwise

½ ground meat

2 onions, cubed

½ bunch parsley, finely chopped

1 tomato, petite diced

1 tomato, sliced in half moons

Green banana peppers, as many as eggplants

Ground pepper, salt, 2 tbs olive oil, frying oil

1 cup hot water

 

Preparation

  1. Put the eggplants in salty water for 10 minutes. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot, dry the eggplants and fry them.
  2. Drain excessive oil by resting them on a paper towel, then place in an oven dish.
  3. In a deep frying pan, heat olive oil. Add onions and stir for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add ground meat, cook until the meat soaks all the juice it releases.
  5. Add diced tomato, stir until cooked.
  6. Turn off heat, add chopped parsley, salt and pepper.
  7. With the help of two spoons, slit eggplants into two, leaving tops and bottoms attached.
  8. Stuff eggplants with ground meat mixture.
  9. Place a slice of half-moon-shaped tomato and a green pepper on top of each split belly eggplant. Pour 1 cup of hot water on top and bake in a preheated oven at 400F until green peppers are nicely baked.
  10. Serve with rice and yoghurt.

 

 

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Filed under Turkey, Vendors, VOTM