Bella AEM

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Bella AEM

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Sep202013

Tour/Activity

Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour: Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was a great tour highlighting Istanbul's main attractions. I traveled with my young teenage children and debated between a self-guided tour since we were staying close to the historical attractions or this comprehensive tour. I chose the latter and have no regrets. Tour guide Tibet was knowledgable, courteous, and has a bright personality. There were only 8 of us during the tour and it felt quite personalized. Reading reviews on other sites, many people suggested doing the self-guide tour and that paying for a tour was a waste of $. I felt that the $ was well spent, it was a turn key operation in that I did not have to plan or read anything, just listen to Tibet and enjoy the sights. They picked us from our hotel and we saw and experienced much more than had we toured on our own. We saved time, too, since Tibet had the tickets to the attractions that required them. The visit to the carpet store and short lecture on carpet making was very interesting. And truthfully, I know my kids would not have listened as closely to me as they did to Tibet!

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  • Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour
  • Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour
  • Istanbul in One Day Sightseeing Tour

Jun222013

Tour/Activity

Florence Bike Tour

Florence, Italy

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review

I was so looking forward to this bike tour! Ideally, it's a great way to see the city's highlights and keep two young teenagers engaged. Our guide, Barbara, was enthusiastic and very knowledgable. My issue is about the biking tour. Please note that my children and I were did a bike of Paris during RUSH HOUR and we felt fine and enjoyed that tour.

First, there is very little mention, if any, about bike safety and how to safely navigate the densely populated streets; at times it was easier and safer to dismount the bike to go around people and other cyclists. Trying to navigate the streets, keep up with guide and listen to her was just too trying and did not make for an enjoyable tour.

I love the idea of the headset but our guide was always way ahead so that we were out of range what she was saying. On top of that, she did not give us enough time to take pictures once we arrived to an attraction nor did she mention good picture opportunities like other guides have.

I suggest slowing down the tour so we can take pictures, have the guide instruct on how to navigate the streets and the many people (develop strategies if you don't have any- in Paris, we grouped together, yelled "dominate" for fun and crossed intersections as a group), have the guide stay within hearing range and talk about safety!

Jun222013

Tour/Activity

Skip the Line: Small Group Florence Uffizi Gallery Walking Tour

Florence, Italy

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

Wonderfully informative tour. Loved learning and hearing so much about the history, the artists, their paintings and the clients who commissioned them. Our guide was very knowledgeable!

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