Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 25

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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Bodrum July 15th 2013

Deep in sleep my dream turned into some weird wailing noise. As I groggily woke up looking around the unfamiliar room I was quickly reminded where I was and that this was indeed a muslim country - the azan (call to prayer) is recited over LOUD speakers from the Mosque 5 times a day. I swear this was at about 5am in the morning, but I think it was more likely to be 7ish? The timing of the azan depends on the sunrise and sunset and geographical location to Mecca. All of the mosques (and there are alot of them) call the azan from the minaret (tower) of the mosque so you hear this everywhere you go. I must admit, waking up to this the first time gave me a really airy feeling when you realise ... read more
Start of the esplanade towards the main beach area
The Lemon Tree!
Free cocktail for me!

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Bodrum July 15th 2013

Returning to the resort with full bellies and a fresh supply of water we had a bit of time to relax by the pool, waiting for our "unforgettable turkish bath experience" . I felt rather, holidayish lounging in a bikini on a sun bed by the pool, shaded by a cane sun umbrella followed by a quick dip in the pool, which was warm but rather refreshing. I do feel for all those who may have been blinded during this time, but a girl has to start somewhere! Running a bit behind schedule, we walked over to the spa area to see if we had inadvertently missed our appointment. The young guy at the reception obviously couldn't understand our twange, so our friend from this morning came out to say he would be 10 more minutes. ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Bodrum July 15th 2013

Following our "experience" at the Turkish Bath we returned to the pool to start the process of the ultimate tan. I must admit, my skin was very, very soft following all the scrubbing, rubbing, massaging, stretching and contorting. I had noticed on our return that a hair dresser was advertising their service at the resort, so went to check this out. Following the signs I found a small, rather empty looking salon with a turkish guy standing outside - I identified him as the "Hairdresser" by the large "hairdresser" sign hanging around his neck. Being blonde is a bit of hard work and I had meant to have my hair done before our holiday, but time ran out and finances reigned so didn't. After trying to explain to the hairdresser in broken english what half head ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Side July 15th 2013

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia July 15th 2013

Last night in an out post town of Goreme, after a long day of visiting underground cities and the fairytale landscape of piers and floating rocks, of dervish shaped spires, ant-like hills and turrets - all gigantic, all unique, all quite unimaginable, fanciful and powerful creations and a dawn hot air balloon ride, which incidentally was breathtaking as we floated above Kapadokya's volcanic, eruption and wind and water erosion created realm occasionally brushing the tops of apricot, apple and olive trees before our balloon became entangled in an orchard upon landing (after 4 aborted attempts!), but that is a whole other story. Upon returning to the solid ground of a local bar, Stewart overheard the conversation of some folks who had just returned from some waterfalls. He asked for more details and within a half hour, ... read more
Kiss kiss
Taking to the waters
Whatever it takes...

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Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Taşucu July 15th 2013

Today we did a walking tour arounds the city and saw the sites, its beatuiful. Then they let us loose in the grand bazar markets, it was fun hagling.... read more
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“No Zena!” our driver, Joseph, commands as we gingerly shut the car door. The Australian girl, Anna, is the current subject of the reprimand. She gently closes the door, but Joseph merely grunts, opens his door, and makes a big show of walking around to Anna’s side to re-shut her door. “No Zena,” he dryly states. With the door debacle behind us, I look around. Where are we, exactly? As if reading my mind, the other Australian girl thumbs her phone and says, “Hey, we are in Syria!” What? I thought we were in southeastern Turkey. “Well, at least Google thinks we are in Syria,” she adds as she shows me the blinking blue dot on the map. Yep, we are practically in Syria. This is the closest I have ever been to the middle east. ... read more
ice hat
tourist entrance
Gobekli Tepe

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 14th 2013

Sun 14 July -istanbul Check out of the apartment and said good bye to my host and friend Melik Firat. I decided to return to the hotel I stayed earlier at Yesilkoy. Can't face the caravan camp in Istanbul yet. Had a lazy day so not much to report. Mon 15 July Checked out of the hotel and into the caravan parking site near the Sultanahmet. Arrived at the Iraqi consulate in Istanbul at 12.30 pm and I was told by the security guard there the consulate opens from 9 to 12 noon. They were very polite and helpful. Tues 16 July - Wed 17th July 2013 Turned up at the Iraqi consulate at 9.30 am. First I was scanned with a handheld metal detector at the entrance. I had to switch off my mobil... read more
Eminonu
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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Bodrum July 14th 2013

Not known what I was quite going to I tried to dress to travel to Turkey in a conservative, verging on middle aged soccer mum outfit that I was sure that even by Turkish terms would not draw attention. I'd heard that you shouldn't wear "beachwear" outside of the resorts.....well, boarding the plan at London Stanstead I started to think maybe I was boarding a plane to Ibiza....nope, white british 40+ women in their white sneakers, 3/4 pant and loose fitting top were boarding too (Bodrum is nearly another British holiday colony) must be the right plane. Counting the four hours to landing, it was exciting to look down below as we flew over the ditch, across Belgium, the Alps and some other random countries (I need to get better at geography) heading into the darkness ... read more
View from the Balcony
View from our room

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Konya July 13th 2013

Turkey is a land of seemingly infinite contradictions - belly dancers, muslin women fully covered in black, the Imam's call to prayer and the nonstop music videos on display at every turn, small fishing boats and enormous yachts, villas and rusted tin roofed enclaves. Traveling for us has become an adaptive experience as we integrate diverse cultures into our limited experience base, but it also transports me back in time to the familiar backyard in which I was raised with similar cascading trumpet vines and grape arbors abundant with hanging grape clusters connecting, bridging across my worlds and time. All along we knew that we wanted to visit Konya's Whirling Dervishes and the Mevlana Museum (Rumi's tomb and mosque) but to experience it in the midst of Ramadan when generous hearts and celebrations overflow enhances the ... read more
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