Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 10

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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk April 28th 2014

It was raining cats and dogs today in Istanbul. No worry....it is first really rainy day of our journey and a travel day . Taxi to Ataturk airport to catch Turkish Air flyte to Iznik. Plane delayed a while before departing ....easy flyte. We really like Turkish Air..... More leg room and nice snacks. King tried to trade us his eggplant salad for our chocolate mousse! We traveling Grami's are much to smart to fall for that one. As planned, a driver from our hotel in Selcuk was waiting outside of baggage claim .....drove us to Selcuk to the Kalehan Hotel .... A really lovely place where once checked in were offered tea and a cookie. The inn Keeper/ head Maître De also bussed us through beautiful rose gardens to our comfy, clean room. We freshened ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 27th 2014

Our journey today took us Away from the city center to an older more conservative part of the city. The suburbs that lie adjacent to the old city walls are mainly working-class residential areas.....however here are some of the most important remnants of the city's past. We visited the Church of St. Savior in Chora Where the finest remaining examples of Byzantine Art can be seen. The beautiful, intricate mosaics tell the stories of the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The colors of the stone tiles are so vivid they seem to glow on the ancient walls. Little is known of the early history of the church .... The name "in Chora" means " in the country" suggesting the church originally stood in a rural setting. The present church dates from the 11th. Century.....it ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beyoglu April 27th 2014

After a lovely Sunday brunch of Simit, Jam, fresh fruit and eggs prepared by our personal Chef we set out by taxi to metro for a jam- packed day of Istanbul life. We strolled through Gezi Park past the fountains and greenery to Taksim Square....a rather stark concrete area but none the less, the hub of activity in modern Beyoglu. This square leads into the busy Istiklal Cadessi which is where everyone seems to gather on such a lovely Sunday afternoon. We slithered and nudged our way through the crowds of people....trying to stay together, snapping photos, stopping to shop for yet another evil eye, watching the street performers and just soaking up the feel of Istanbul life. We found a Starbuckus so had to make a coffee stop and hit the W/C before heading for ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Black Sea » Trabzon April 27th 2014

23 April What an incredible start to today. And incredibly early. We arrived at Kaya Camping yesterday afternoon and set up our tents along a perimeter wall with views of the Rose Valley in the near-ish distance. Steph, Quinn and I were on cook and made leek and potato soup, followed by pasta with a salami and tomato sauce. It turned out really well but I thought the stock cubes were gluten free and they weren't. Even using five stock cubes between two dishes made to feed eleven people each plus seconds was still enough to send my stomach into spasms and give me a severe headache. I finished dinner and went to my tent, not even able to sit up with the other five to watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Alarms could ... read more
Watching our balloon getting ready
Up in the air with 99 other balloons
Goreme and surrounds

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Ortaköy April 25th 2014

Had a good breakfast......shopped for a scooter .......stopped by the bakery .....nap in the sun.....watched the birds .....Lunch???......fed birds......had tea with locals........ afternoon nap......stopped at toy store.......hung out with friends...... Great Day......took it really easy today ! Wish everyone of you could be here too!... read more
Hanging out with friends
Shopped for Scooter
Stopped by bakery

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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet April 24th 2014

Nothing can prepare you for the Grand Bazaar!!! A maze of streets covered by beautiful painted domes with thousands of booths selling fine jewelery, colorful ceramics, woven carpets, Kilimn rugs, antique, textiles, brass and copper, and handcraft items and souvenirs. The first thing to catch my eye was a silk woven pillow cover with dachshund looking dogs ! There was only one person in that market who would die for that particular pillow cover and somehow the seller knew at a glance it was me. Nakadar.....how much I asked.? He smiled and said very fine choice.... Silk .... Excellent quality......250 Turkish Lira. Approximately 125.00 American dollars. No. No no. We said ( Shannon had come to the rescue) we started to walk away ( they were pulling me).....I needed that pillow! Ok. 175TL. He offered ...I ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet April 24th 2014

A day at the Grand Bazaar!... read more
Roof top at Grand Bazaar
New Mosque
Across the Golden Horn

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Ortaköy April 24th 2014

Rain Today....can't complain. First rainy day of trip. Shannon drove us to visit the Metro city Mall. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and chocolate Brownie before wandering around to do a few errands and shop for groceries. It is a beautiful modern structure .... we were typical tourists taking photos and enjoying the sites . Had a nice lunch an came home, Shannon is so brave to drive in this city....watch out when she and Peter are back driving in states.....wouldn't get in their way for awhile. Peter prepared us a delicious Pasta dinner ..... with salad, bread and wine. Watermelon and coffee. We are really getting spoiled.... read more
Metro City Mall
Metro City Mall
Metro City Mall

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Olympos April 22nd 2014

20 April We arrived at Bayram's Tree houses late yesterday afternoon and split ourselves into two groups to share rooms. Talbot had said we were staying in treehouses and I was SO excited until Nic showed me her Lonely Planet that said they might not actually be in trees. Which turned out to be correct. If they're tree houses because they're built from wood, then I stayed in a treehouse. But I tend to think it means they're houses up in trees... The price includes breakfast and dinner so it was nice to spend the hours lounging about whilst waiting for the 8pm dinner call. I found the staff who made me a gluten-free meal with grilled chicken, salad, cheese and yoghurt which was excellent, as was everyone's. At 9pm we piled into a minibus and ... read more
Chimeara flames
The staircase down from our 'treehouse'
Delicious strawberries and mulberries

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet April 22nd 2014

Today Sharon, King, and I ventured out into this amazing city on our own. our personal guide, Shannon Vogelaar, had a previous engagement so.....she tucked us into a taxi to Kabatas where we caught the tram to Sultan Ahmet Square in the heart of "Old Town". We walked through the square to the Sultan Ahamet Mosque...."The Blue Mosque". It is the most splendid mosque of Istanbul, constructed between 1603-1617. Although many other mosques were built after this one, none were as large or elegant. it is known worldwide as the Blue Mosque from the mainly blue Iznik tile work decorating its interior and dome. We strolled the beautiful gardens and walkways to the Hagia Sophia, a Roman Monument constructed in the Byzantine Age ( 537 ) .It was used as a church for 916years - then ... read more
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