Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 26

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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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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


“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
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tourist entrance
Gobekli Tepe

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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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 8th 2013

Mon 8th July to Sat 13th July 2013 Istanbul, Turkey Mon 8th July I have been wanting to put some more weight back on for the past 2 weeks. I have lost a weight and my waist size has dropped from 32" to 30". The trousers I have worn from the UK have been a bit loose and always trying to slip down on me. In Istanbul, there is a perfect solution to weight loss, the local people here eat many forms of pastry for breakfast. The pastry is full of flour and fat and it is perfect for someone who needs to put on some weight. After breakfasting heavily on this pastry stuff, I am happy to report that I have re-gained my 32" waist back. The afternoon was spent driving into town looking for ... read more
Seaview from hotel
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Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Akbük July 7th 2013

Akbük, a small town along the Turkish Turquoise Coast. Stewart was delighted by having a bathroom in which he could sit on the toilet, brush his teeth, shower and watch the boardwalk's goings on through a small window without having to move (giving new meaning to "cute and cozy"), but the "crowded rat syndrome" was a bit much for me so we packed our suitcases and moved to a fabulous hotel where the endless pool seemed to flow into the sea. Our difficult decisions over our five days there have been whether to swim in the pool, the Aegean, or both. Stewart has partaken in a number of rousing backgammon games with locals of all ages and genders - winning most of them, thanks to his Peace Corp days mastering his game! We took a day ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 7th 2013

Sun 7th July 2013 Yesilkoy district, Istanbul. Morning involved a short walk around the beach not far from the hotel. I saw the natives using a wood fired water boiler to make their tea. I thought 'this can be very useful to me on my journey'. The only problem is I don't know where to buy the piece of equipment. Breakfast - I went to a local pastry shop that made some delicious food for breakfast. It looked very fattening, but I don't care. I had a portion of that delicious pastry, lots and lots of 'Ayran', a salty yoghourt drink and some lemonade. I made a second attempt at visiting the 'Sultanahmet'. This time, I set the SatNat on my mobile phone for the mosque. It worked better than I thought, it guided me to ... read more
Me beside the beach
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My Turkish friends and their tea making equipment

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet July 6th 2013

Sat 6 July 2013 Burgas in Bulgaria to Istanbul in Turkey Driving from Burgas to Istanbul involved driving on more pot holed roads. The roads were so bad, the car nearly lost its other 'eye'. It fell off while climbing those steep mountains in Bulgaria, but luckily it got trapped between the car and the bumper. I discovered the problem when I stopped the vehicle to allow the vehicle to cool down. Luckily, I brought tools and some spare washers, and I managed to re-attach the 'eye' back on to the car. The Bulgarians are nice people. One driver stopped and asked if I needed help. Getting out of Bulgaria at the border crossing was easy, just checked the vignette and passport, etc and I was out of Bulgaria. Getting into Turkey was a more difficult ... read more
Cooling down in Turkey
shop in Instanbul

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Kusadasi July 4th 2013

It is all a mixed bag - the excitement of travel to exotic destinations and the reality of the journey - finding lodging (some hotels completely different than depicted on their website and having to forfeit our pre-payment), the noise of big cities, catching a sunset that a Marin teenagers across the world from here, locals, tourists and ancient ones alike would marvel at, traversing our route by bus, tram, metro, taxi, boat and foot, the time it takes to get around, getting lost going from place to place but eventually finding our way, old train stations serving as hubs to pass through one another's lives. And sometimes a friendly innkeeper, who at the end of the long day of travel arranges at 10:00 pm for a Hamam to wash it all away and leave us ... read more




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