Page 7 of Delek Delek Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli April 8th 2012

An essential part of any New Zealander's Turkish itinerary is a visit to the Gallipoli peninsula. Growing up in New Zealand you are constantly reminded of the New Zealand soldiers who gave their lives fighting in Gallipoli during World War I - New Zealand is a peaceful, isolated country you see, so it doesn't tend to get involved in any international skirmishes, nor is there any civil unrest, so the losses suffered in Gallipoli are the biggest the country have ever suffered due to war. Our time had now come to pay our respects in person. We had managed to get onto a convenient all-day tour that was picking us up in Istanbul, guiding us around all the important sites in Gallipoli and putting us up in a hostel in Eceabat for the night. This meant ... read more
Anzac Cove
Lone Pine
The Unknown Soldier

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 7th 2012

Istanbul has been near the top of my to-go list for as long as I can remember. A vibrant melting pot spiced with a unique, exotic blend of European style, Islamic sensibility, and local passion, infused with a rich history and served on a plate that covers two continents - the evocative metropolis that is Istanbul would entice any visitor to an intriguing experience upon its shores. The shores that I promised I'd be visiting next in my last memoir were Norwegian ones and indeed I have reneged upon that promise once again. As a result of policy failure and a general lack of efficiency at the UK Home Office, a postponement of my weekend in Bergen was forced since Kiwis of the Sag variety can't fly, and they definitely can't do so without a passport. ... read more
Aya Sofya
Basilica Cisterns
Blue Mosque

You know how I said my next blog entry was coming from Bergen when I wrote last? I LIED. Most of my trips away have literally been over seas, so I tend to forget that trips that don't involve boarding a plane are still are still in fact, trips. Such a trip, is a weekend away in Newcastle. It was really to nice travel within the UK for a change, something I don't do enough of, but plan to correct this year. For a start, you don't need your passport, you don't have to pack stolen hotel shower gel bottles into a tiny, clear zip-lock bag, you don't need to bring an adapter with you, you can use your iPhone normally without being charged through the roof for it, and you can enjoy a ride with ... read more
Tyne Bridge
Grey's Monument
St. James's Park

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Basel January 22nd 2012

There are some places I would never have heard of, let alone visited, if I wasn't a keen follower of European football. La Coruña (home of the 2000 Spanish champions Deportivo La Coruña) is one of them, and perhaps Bremen (home of Werder Bremen) is another. Therefore back in the early 2000s when I watched the likes of the Yakin brothers and er, Scott Chipperfield grace the Champions League, I told myself I'd have to visit Basel one day. "Don't forget that one of the greatest people in the world is from there too", reminded my colleague Fabienne. Indeed Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player to ever play the game, is also from Basel. "I meant me...", replied Fabienne. The most compelling reason for me to visit the place however, was... read more
View From Quaibrucke

Asia » South Korea » Seoul October 25th 2011

I wasn't originally going to blog about a 20-hour stopover in Seoul, but looking at my photos and experiences, I've just about got enough material. Besides, I've done it before. What I haven't done before is visit South Korea. Coming in on the plane, you see all these rather dry, brown, perfectly cookie-cut islands on the way into Incheon. From the plane, they look like models, as if you're about to land on the set of Thunderbirds or a Japanese puppet horror movie. Speaking of puppets, Seoul is only a mere 48km from the demilitarised zone - the border with North Korea which is home to one rone-ry man. You almost can't believe how close South Korea's capital city is to the most heavily militarised border in the world, and arguably the world's most combustible strip ... read more
Cheonggyecheon Stream
Bright Lights

Europe » Latvia » Riga Region » Riga September 18th 2011

I wasn't supposed to spend just 34 hours in Riga. But a temporary and ultimately infuriating memory lapse forced my hand. I had bought tickets to see Beirut months ago and I've been waiting to see them live for years. "Remember not to book anything on the 16th, Derek", I told myself. "Don't do anything on the 16th!" I told my friend Alastair, who would accompany me to the gig. So when Davies and I were deciding when we should go to Riga, I suggested the 9th. "That will be the weekend after we get back from Slovenia - why don't we do the morning of the 16th?" he replied. "Hmmm....", I thought. "What do I have on the 16th? Don't think I have anything...yeah should be OK." Flights booked - done. It was only the ... read more
Freedom Monument
The Three Brothers
Latvian Riflemen Statue

Europe » Slovenia » Istria » Piran September 3rd 2011

I was surprisingly perky the next day. I could even eat. Walking through Ljubljana to the train station, I noticed that the city was awash with school kids who all had their faces and arms smothered in graffiti. Dule had told us last night that yesterday was the last day of the holidays so perhaps this is some kind of Slovenian freshers ritual. Anyway, we caught a train to the small town of Divaca, the closest town to the Skocjan Caves. We were a bit lucky on arrival - there was a free bus waiting to take us to the caves. It didn't get us to the caves fast enough for the 2pm tour though unfortunately, so we had about an hour to kill. To kill it, we started walking up a path that circumnavigated the ... read more
Piran Marina
Underground Canyon

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Ljubljana August 31st 2011

On arrival, my first impressions of Ljubljana were that it was bigger than I thought. The new town is built up with modern, multi-storey buildings and I actually felt a little uncomfortable with the hustle and bustle, having just come from the relative isolation of Bled and Bohinj. Our hostel, Fluxus Hostel, was one of those cool boutique hostels that was bright, spacious and more sociable since there are fewer guests. The pamphlets on offer there managed to plan our next day for us too; a free walking tour during the day, and a pub crawl in the evening. Too easy. We were pretty buggered that night from our exertions in Bled (lying around in the sun and swimming is hard work aye) so we just did an initial scout of the town to get familiarised ... read more
Presenov Trg
Showmaker's Bridge
Inside St. Nicholas Cathedral

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Bled August 30th 2011

This isn't the first time I have been to Slovenia, although the preposition "to" is perhaps misleading. Back in the days of 2007, I travelled through Slovenia en route from Venice to Pula, but never set foot on Slovenian soil - i.e. I never got off the bus. Therefore, as per my own rules about visiting countries, I have never been to Slovenia. Until now. I had always heard that Slovenia was a beautiful place - Bled in particular (I had seen the photos) - and was great for outdoor activities. This holiday would be a little different, as Davies and I wanted to try some of the sporting activities on offer. Getting to Bled was a bit of a mission - flights to the capital Ljubljana are fairly expensive because Ryanair don't fly there, but ... read more
Bled Island
Sum Falls
The Start Line

Europe » Italy » Lazio » Rome May 30th 2011

I'm usually a nervous wreck before Champions League finals involving Manchester United but I think the fact that this is United's third final in four years coupled with the fact I was walking around a city I've never been to before, kind of took my mind off the game. The last time United were in the final, they played Barcelona, and the final was in Rome. It would've been great to have been at that final (despite United losing) but alas, I stayed in London. This year, they were playing Barcelona again - this time in London. Where am I now? Rome. About two years too late then. Walking into the hostel bar, I see a guy in a United shirt. I greet him with a smile and ask him where he was going to watch ... read more
The Oculus
Trevi Fountain
Senatus Populus Que Romanus

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