Page 2 of IveBeenThere Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia September 20th 2011

Tuesday 20th Sept - Green Tour Today we decided to join the masses and go on a organized tour - called the Green Tour (70try = $39.20each) which we booked with Cemil, as we were sure he would get some kind of commission from our booking. We were escorted to Hard Rock Tours just a block away at about 10 am and managed to get the front seat in one of the two mini buses that were running this tour today. Site we saw today included: - Goreme panorama (birds eye view of town) - Selime Monastery (carved in the rock) - Ihlara Valley (3km walk through the valley) - Lunch by the river (2 course meal) - Derinkuyu Underground City (8 stories, 85m underground) - Visit to Onyx showroom (very expensive, hard to get ... read more
Selime Monastery
Ihlara Valley
Derinkuyu Underground City

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia » Göreme September 18th 2011

Sunday 18th Sept - Ankara to Goreme, Cappadocia After breakfast and thanks & farewell to our hosts, we caught a taxi to the nearest metro station and caught a metro that took us to the bus station. Naively, we arrived at the bus station at 5 minutes before 11 thinking we would be able to get tickets on the 11am bus out of Ankara to Cappadocia. It's Sunday morning and as soon as I saw the amount of people crowding the bus terminal I realized that we were pretty stupid thinking we would get a on the bus we wanted without having pre-purchased tickets. There were just 2 different bus companies that were going directly to Goreme, but of course now it was just minutes, even seconds, before 11 and I was not surprised when both ... read more
hostie on the bus pouring coffee
little fat kid that Zak befriended
free water on the bus

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara September 15th 2011

Thursday, 15th Sept - early morning flight Istanbul to Ankara Due to the fact that Istanbul is very expensive and the fact we are flying out of here and will have to come back here, I made the executive decision to spend the night at the airport after our midnight arrival flight and catch a 7.30am flight from Istanbul to Ankara. Also the fact that this airport is so far out of Istanbul that it would have cost us more to catch a taxi to the city at this time of night, than waiting and flying out in the morning. This of course all went bum up when Air Arabia cancelled and changed our flight date which meant we lost the original internal flight I booked and had to rebook one for the changed date. But ... read more
cedar tree in Ankara
plastic gas bottles?

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul September 14th 2011

Wednesday 14th Sept, fly Casablanca to Istanbul We were up early, packed and on our way out the door by 8.30am. We caught a taxi from the Uncles place back to the train station in Sale and were on a 9am train towards Casablanca, changing trains once to get to the Casablanca airport. The train took about 2 hours. I wanted to get to the airport early as I had a bone to pick with Air Arabia as they had changed our flights and not only caused us to loose a internal flight in Turkey which I had already purchased and was non refundable, but also stole 2 days from our holiday time. We were advised a few weeks ago and have been trying to contact the airline since then. They did not answer any of ... read more
last phone call home to Mother
goodbye Morocco
nervous?  nup!

Africa » Morocco » Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaer » Rabat September 12th 2011

Sunday 11th Sept - at the flat Zak's parents came over tonight to say goodbye. Mother is so sweet she cried like a baby when the final goodbye was said. Not happy that her number one son is leaving the neighborhood, not to mention the country. Before goodbye's were said there were instructions given that Zak has to preform before traveling on any kind of transport. Talk about superstitious! There seems to be a Muslim prayer for everything. She also wrote something on two tiny pieces of paper and gave one to Zak and one to Father. When I asked what it was, Zak just said a religious thing - yeah well I kinda guessed that, but he does not really like to 'share' information like this with me. They both proceeded to stash these small ... read more
Rabat Medina
shade for the medina

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Azrou September 11th 2011

Saturday 11th Sept 2011 some frogs went walking on a summer's day, ah hum ah hum some frogs went walking on a summer's day, they met an Australian on the way, ah hum ah hum ah hum ah hum ah hum Beautiful clear sunny day today and I joined some frogs (French people) who went for a hike in the forest with a couple of the local Moroccan lads. It's the most exercise I have done for months so I'm sure I will pay for it tomorrow. The day was hot and sunny, but we all managed to have a pleasant walk which was not too exhausting. Along the way we found a small kitten in the middle of nowhere. Although it did not seem to have a home as there were no homes within miles, ... read more
grazing goats
a kitten we found in the bush
Rachid forcing kitty to smile

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Azrou August 30th 2011

Wednesday 30th - the end of Ramadan! Eid El Fitr This ceremony, as its name indicates, celebrates the breaking of the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In Morocco, Eid El Fitr is celebrated by getting up early in the morning. Men go to the mosque for the prayers of that day. As for women, they prepare the special breakfast for Eid El Fitr which is constituted of typical Moroccan pancakes such as Baghrir and Melwi. After the prayers, the family gathers around the table to indulge in a copious breakfast. It is also a time when families visit each other and chat around cookies and mint tea. Children are dressed in new clothes and adults in traditional outfits. The holiday of Eid El Fitr lasts only one day. Today seemed like ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Azrou August 28th 2011

Sunday 28th - day twenty-seven There was noises in the house today. Noises of movement. Everything was being moved out of the kitchen as it is going to be painted this evening. Removing the pictures and hanging from the walls left a few holes and Zak had the job of patching up the plaster. Zak had told Said (the cousin we have been sitting with at the cafe all Ramadan - who happens to be a painter by trade) and he offered to come paint the kitchen for us with a roller. He also helped with purchasing the correct paint at bargain price. Cost to paint the ceiling and walls of the kitchen 40dh = aud$4.85 - cheap as!! So by the time breakfast came around the kitchen had been emptied ready for Said's arrival after ... read more
Said painting the ceiling
Zak painting the 2nd day
the last Ramadan breakfast

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Azrou August 27th 2011

Saturday 27th - day twenty-six We had breakfast with Zak's parents today - the German boys have left Azrou. It was nice as we had not eaten with them for a few days. And the atmosphere was nice for a change also even with the 3 boys there. No arguments or heated discussions. Well today or I should say tonite is Laylat al-Qadr - Night of Power - special day in the Ramadan calendar. See paragraph below for explanation of what this is. We are having dinner with Zak's parents also. Chicken couscous is on the menu, looking forward to this also as we have not had couscous during Ramadan. So we made our way down to the new city for our dinner appointment at 2am. The couscous was absolutely delicious!!! I was so happy that ... read more
view from terrace at night
lit up mosque

Africa » Morocco » Meknès-Tafilalet » Azrou August 23rd 2011

Tuesday 23rd - day twenty-two I woke up earlier again today and actually feel better off for it. I think the over indulgence of sleeping such long hours was putting me in a bored melancholy mood. I took some time out and in the true spirit of Ramadan took the time to reflect and look at the person I am within. On searching and seeing this reflection I came to the not so pleasing conclusion that I am a cranky, crabby, old bitch. Amazing how food and drink deprivation enhances your personality - obviously in my case not in a good way. So I have decided I'm going to try and lighten up a bit for the remaining days of Ramadan and try to enjoy the last days. I'm working on the cranky and crabby bits, ... read more
Fatia, Yousef & Ghita
Mark, Thomas & Zak

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