Lottie Let Loose

Lottie Let Loose

Lottie Let Loose

Lottie is let loose - come and see where is she heading this time?

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 12th 2018

Having said goodbye to most of my group yesterday - lots of them left early this morning and I'm not getting up that early for breakfast - I am now on my own in Istanbul for a few hours to look around places I'd missed on my first day of the tour. First off on my wish list is a visit to the Topkapi Palace. This sumptuous residence was built in 1459 for the Ottoman Sultans to swan around in. Over the centuries it was added to and improved. Earthquakes and fires took their toll but it was renovated and redecorated to within an inch of its life. The life of a Sultan in the Topkapi Palace was that of a spoilt little rich kid getting whatever he wanted. He had his very own harem of ... read more
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Basilica Cistern, Istanbul

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 11th 2018

'If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul' Alphonse de Lamarine Today we are heading back to the exuberant, ancient, 'in your face' capital of Turkey, Istanbul, but first we have a bit of a drive through the mountainous countryside of eastern Turkey. We are the closest we've been to the Syrian border, just 58 miles away according to someone's Google maps app. We have seen nothing that would indicate there is a major conflict raging just across the border. The closest we get is meeting a couple of soldiers who are resting up at a gas station we stop at for a break. They are eating ice-creams and even let some of our group pose for photos with them. Apparently they are patrolling the roads around here. ... read more
Fishermen on the Galata Bridge, Istanbul
Proper Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee bar

We set up camp in a 'hotel' near Mount Nemrut. Hotel in quotes as it's actually a bit of a dive, but hey, thems the knocks when you wanna see something amazing. It's freezing and I'm given a 'heater' for my room. It works, but there are alarming sparks from the back when the switch is turned on and off. The handle to the bathroom comes off in my hand, there's no light bulb in the main ceiling light and at some point the door has had a fist through it and has been patched up. Room 101 is scrawled on the door in felt tip pen. The communal room where we are to eat has a door at each end that may as well not be there, a blast of cold coming in every time ... read more
Mount Nemrut statues
Catching the shuttle bus up Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut statue

We finally get a lie in this morning and yay it coincides with me getting a room to myself in a nice hotel. I have another shower, just because I can and luxuriate in my massive, comfortable bed. When we do set off I'm glad to be leaving this odd little town behind. I feel like there's a whole lot we didn't get to know about this place, but that might just be my perceptions. As we carry on our journey we are moving through the mountains still, but as usual with Intrepid they have thought of everything and give us something to take a look at to break up our journey to Kahta. We stop at a waterfall. Some in my group didn't get to see the waterfall near Antalya so this is a first ... read more
Do not press the lumps!
Lining up for a selfie photo.
Little princess  Fatma

Middle East » Turkey » Southeastern Anatolia » Adiyaman April 8th 2018

As we drive eastwards, away from the region of Cappadocia, we start to see an even more mountainous area emerge. The roads wind along narrow, twisting valleys between the mountains following the contours as we go. I've got the lucky front seat next to the driver (we swap seats in the bus every journey to make sure no-one ends up stuck at the back feeling sick the whole time). I start to see that all these mountains have terraces cut into the sides but they are not deep enough to grow crops. Instead they have been planted with tiny new trees. It's an incredible amount of work to have completed and I learn that it's to help prevent erosion. It must also be doing something towards balancing carbon emissions. We have a few stops at roadside ... read more
Gokpinar Golu lake
Darende riverside walk
Water wheel at Darende

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia April 8th 2018

Sadly we are leaving the natural wonders of Cappadocia behind today, with another long drive, this time heading towards Darende, but more of that later. First we are having an early morning visit to the Goreme Open Air Museum (hoping to avoid the crowds). The Open Air Museum is a must see if you're in the area. It's a UNESCO world heritage site and it's easy to see why as we begin to look around this huge site housing a large number of 10th, 11th and 12th century refectory monasteries carved out of the rocks, many of which are highly decorated with religious paintings. As we enter the open air museum, on our left is what's known as the 'nunnery'. It's a 7 storey building with a kitchen, dining hall and other rooms, along with a ... read more
Church at Goreme Open Air Musuem, Cappadocia
Kitchen table and benches carved out of rock, Goreme Open Air Musuem, Cappadocia
Church at Goreme Open Air Musuem, Cappadocia

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia April 7th 2018

We are all on a high from our hot air balloon ride and find it odd to be arriving back at our hotel at what would be our normal breakfast time. It feels like we've had half a day already. We're heading off on more activities later, but we have a bit of time relaxing at our cave hotel reading, going for short walks in our little valley and round the top of the cliff, watching a couple having wedding photos with our hotel as a backdrop and generally soaking up this unique location before we go. In the afternoon our bus driver picks us up and takes us to the start of a walk through the alien landscape of Cappadocia in one of the valleys near Goreme. We stop at a particular rockface where Burak ... read more
Fairy castles, Goreme, Cappodocia
The start of Burak's rock cave hotel
Galip Korukcu, Turkey's Einstein!

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia April 7th 2018

Stumbling out of bed at 4.45am in a cold cave is a surreal experience. I am in Cappadocia, in Turkey, staying in a cave hotel and about to take my first ever hot air balloon ride and an early morning is required in order to see the sun rise. Personally I'm not that fussed about sunrises and would rather have an extra few hours in bed, but nevertheless we are picked up by the ballooning company's minibus and a bleary-eyed group keeps fingers crossed that the wind conditions will be ok to fly (or float - not sure what term you use for hot air balloons). It seems our minibus driver is a rally cross wannabe as we race past other trundling buses at break neck speed, dust flying up behind us, tyres screeching. We are ... read more
Hot air ballooning, Cappadocia
Hot air ballooning, Cappadocia
Hot air ballooning, Cappadocia

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia April 6th 2018

Another travelling day sees us eating up the miles on our way from Konya to one of the most iconic districts of Turkey, the natural wonders of Cappadocia. As usual on travel days our clever tour company has included interesting stops along the way. Our first is to see a 13th century pit-stop for camels, the Sultanhari Kervansarayi. This is one of a number of 'hotels' along the Silk Road where traders would stop for 3 nights to allow their camels (donkeys if they were Del Boy types) to rest before the next stint of their journey. They were not able to travel at night because of thieves and bandits lurking in the hills, so only traveled a day at a time covering approximately 40km to the next Kervansarayi. The Sultanhari has a massive portico doorway ... read more
Derinkuyu underground city
Derinkuyu underground city
Lottie Let Loose in the Derinkuyu underground city

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Konya April 5th 2018

'One does not become a wise person by wearing a cloak and a turban. Wisdom belongs to one's character, be it inside a silk dress or a coarse woolen cloth.' So said Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, otherwise known as Mevlana the 13th century Persian poet, mystic and theologian with a marked propensity toward spinning round and round in circles with his head cocked to one side. Yes, we are off to the birth place of the whirling Dervishes - Konya. But first we have a long, long coach journey to get us there, shared this time with Turkish passengers who it seems the bus company has double booked in the same seats as us. They get really annoyed at us bloody tourists sitting in their seats and poor Burak has to listen to them complaining to ... read more
Mevlana Tekkesi
Konya dress shop
Living quarters of the trainee whirling dervishes

Tot: 0.131s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 12; qc: 65; dbt: 0.0255s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb