Page 3 of MuzzaT Travel Blog Posts

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet September 9th 2011

As I write this blog the calls to prayer echo all around me, we are surronded by mosques and each mosque has its own call. it is an eery sound at first but one gets to enjoy it, one mosque after another starts and your ears are filled with the sounds Ahmet also showed us through Aya Sofa, (Haghia Sophia) this huge building now a museum , but once a church and also a mosque it is across Sultanahmet park from the Blue Mosque it was originally built in 537 however various fires and earthquakes have ruined and destroyed rebuilds till the present building which was rebuilt by the Ottomans in the 15th century We again entered quickly though there was long queues, the mosaic tiles in this building just leave you gazing at the ceiling ... read more
Basilca Cistern
Aya Sopha
Aya Sopha

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet September 8th 2011

I have to start this by saying that Istanbul is everything I had ever read and learnt about it but more, way way more. This is an amazing city and the people are so friendly and helpful. With our limited Turkish we have managed to navigate our way through airports, transport systems, restaurants and speak with people in the street. It is so hard to take in the expanse of the history we are surrounded by, the size of the mosques, the age of the buildings and the names from the bible that keep coming to mind as we travel around. Our entry to Turkey went smoothly after a delay at Dubai due to the luggage of a passenger who didn't turn up for the flight having to be found and unloaded. This flight to ... read more
The Sultan Hosel Sheryll
A Strret Food Cart
Sheryll with her head scarf and Ahmet

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 5th 2011

We were picked up by Arabian Adventures for our evening Desert Safari in a flash Chev 4WD by our guide Sargid who was from India and has been working in Dubai for the past 16 years supporting his wife and 2 daughters back home in India, he returns to Inda a couple of times a year. The 4WD had a V8 motor and we were soon cruising at 120 kmh towards the desert some 45 km's off. We had picked up another couple, Anna from Christchurch who was on an Emirates training course and Anderson from Sao Palo also working for Emirates Airlines. Sargid the guide answered all our questions as we drove towards the Dubai Conservation Reserve. Before entering the Reserve we had to deflate our tyres so as to be able to drive on ... read more
4WD In The Sand Dunes
A Couple of Nomads
THe Same Nomads

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 4th 2011

After a long flight arrived Dubai around 05;00 am we seemed to have disembarked miles from the terminal and were bussed back it was a very warm and humid 38' deg or so. Customs and immigration went well and before too long we were in the mini van and dropped of at our hotel the Rolla Residence in the Bur Dubai district of the city close to the older trading areas around "The Creek". We were both tired so decided a short nap was in order. The air conditioning fools you into believing that the 42' deg outside shouldnt be a problem. With not that great a map we decided to walk to the Creek area and get used to this warm moist air. Hopping from bus shelter to bus shelter (which are air conditioned) after ... read more
The Creek area
Dinner Onboard
A Dhow on the Creek

Middle East » Turkey August 20th 2011

OUR DEPARTURE DATE IS GETTING CLOSER "Merhaba arkada┼člar ve ailea" (Hello Friends and Family) Some of you will be aware that Sheryll and I are off to Turkey for our "BIG OE" early in September for 6 weeks, for those that dont take a look at our TravelBlog and see what we will be getting up to for the next 6 weeks. Our Emirates flight was booked by Adem Ozkan from Mondo Travel in Orewa. Bey Adem is one of Emirates Airline's top sellers and has been able to offer us a valuable insider's guide to Turkey, as it were. Adem who is Turkish has encouraged us to explore his country, he has a great knowledge of Turkey as prior to moving to New Zealand he was a tour guide. Adem has become a good friend ... read more
Murray & Sheryll

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney July 12th 2008

Thirty one years ago in 1977, Sheryll attended a Girl Guide camp at "Omatua" the local area guide camp near Rissington in Hawkes Bay. She made friends with Georgina Sagote who was attending the camp from the Solomon Islands. After returning home to the Solomon Islands Georgina and Sheryll continued communicating as penfriends for about 6 or 7 years up until Kris was born in 1983. For one reason or another the link was broken and they lost contact. Georgina's address remained in our address book for the next 15 years and I often said to Sheryl we should try and find her again. We had checked several times in the Solomon Islands phone book but there was no listing for Georgina. Sheryll assumed that with all of the political unrest that the Solomon's had suffered ... read more
Central YHA Sydney
Tram in China Town area
Chinese Gardens Darling Harbour

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast April 9th 2008

BLACKBALL Blackball was named for the Black Ball Shipping Line, which leased land in the area to mine for coal. It was formerly known as Joliffetown and Moonlight Gully, it began life as a small gold settlement towards the end of 1865 but its development was impeded by the pull of the major goldfield a few miles up the Grey Valley at Moonlight. There the gold was purer and the prospects brighter. The local hotel 'Formerly the Blackball Hilton' was founded in 1910, as the Dominion Hotel, renaming itself to the "Blackball Hilton" after the mine manager, Mr Hilton, after whom the town's main street is also named. It was forced to change its name after objections from the international Hilton hotel chain. It was the development of the coalfield in 1893 that began Blackball's growth, ... read more
Formerley The Blackball Hilton

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Greymouth April 9th 2008

Greymouth's Brunner Coal Mine We were on our way to Blackball from Greymouth travelling alongside the Grey River when this tall brick chumney came into view, there was a carpark beside it so we went to investigate. I have to admit that I didn't know much at all about the Brunner Coal Mine so it was helpfull to see that the Department of Conservation had upgraded this site and it was obvious that a lot of work had gone into it. The chimney that we first saw was in fact not part of the Brunner Mine, the mine itself was on the opposite bank of the Grey River. Thomas Brunner an early explorer of the West Coast was the first Pakeha to discover the coal seam when he was travelling up the Grey River Gorge by ... read more
Brunner Coal Mine
Brunner Coal Mine
Rescue Party

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast April 8th 2008

A trip along the West Coast is never complete without a trip to Shantytown. The last time we were there was many years ago when we were on holiday with the children. Unfortunately my camera battery went flat so I didn't get to take many pictures, but here is the few I did get. Shantytown is a worthwhile stop for a look into early life on the West Coast, it is well presented and has a nice authentic feel about it. The steam train ride along the old sawmill track in Katie. The main stay of the railway at Shantytown since its opening in 1972 has been the F-Class Kaitangata'. This engine was builtt for the Kaitangata Coal & Railway Co. to work the 8 kilometre line from the coal mine at Kaitangata to the N.Z.R. ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast April 8th 2008

Who knows where Okarito is ? Well it seems that more people than I thought do now, the last time I visited here was about 20 years ago and it was the remoteness that attracted me to Okarito then. Even though it is only 10 km's or so from the main State Highway to the Lagoon and Beach at Okarito it's attraction has always been over shadowed by the better known Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers which are on the Main road. The purpose of my visit nany years back then was to stay at the Okarito YHA, I have always been a Life Member of YHA and I enjoyed travelling around staying at the smaller more remote hostels . It was then, New Zealand's smallest Youth Hostel and I recall it only had 4 bunk ... read more
Okarito YHA
Okarito Beach
Okarito Beach

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