Blogs from Izmit, Marmara, Turkey, Middle East


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit January 21st 2015

I'm back in Istanbul! I'm back in Istanbul! That was me announcing my arrival (to myself of course) of a Sunday evening on the 18th of January, 2015. Although I hadn't thought it at the time it was a rather auspicious date: my late mum was born that day back in 1952 and, coincidentally, my passport had been issued that day 4 years earlier (definitely not of great significance). I had a good view of my previous place of employment as I flew out of London-Luton Airport - the manor estate called Luton Hoo (hotel, golf couse and spa) which borders on the one side of the airport - but not before I had to go through some unprecented formalities prior to check-out. You see, anyone traveling to Turkey today from mainland UK, especially men of ... read more
Bosphorus Night
Hagia Sofia
Omar and I

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit June 7th 2014

Kartepe, Turkey May 2014 "There is no sincerer love than the love of food." George Bernard Shaw "When diet is wrong medicine is of no use. When diet is correct medicine is of no need." Ayurvedic Proverb “Never do to excess, but let moderation be your guide” Marcus Tullius Cicero I found myself in Turkey. Well, it was planned as a place to go in between India visas and it was a country I had always said I wanted to see. But for one reason or another (and more just one particular reason actually, which I won't go into here) I just had no appetite for traveling around alone and I had done with hanging around Istanbul. On a whim, I took myself off to an organic “raw food” farm 2 hours by bus south west ... read more
Zuchini pasta (no flour)
The raw food kitchen crew
Humus dip (sesame and nuts)

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit June 27th 2013

The ruins at Asclepion were in much better shape. We visited a wellness center that people used to go to when they were sick. In order to be admitted you had to be able to walk down the long driveway at the entrance without any help. The services they offered included psychotherapy, mud baths, massage and herbal medicine. They were big on positive psychology. Apparently the staff convinced everyone that they were going to get better and when people didn’t make it they told the rest of the patients that they had went home when in actuality they were buried on the grounds. Bones were later found underneath the buildings. Izmir is a very large city. It’s where Homer was born and happens to be where one of Gabriel’s friend’s from home was staying with her ... read more
Ruins 1
Ruins 2

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit May 10th 2012

Today the UBC Mining Research Field Trip had another early start, leaving an approximately 7am. Following the 2-3 hour drive, the group arrived at Soma Coals open pit and underground operations. After a winding road to site, we received the nice surprise that we would be provided the opportunity to go underground and see their long wall operations. The tour schedule included: underground operations, open pit operations and quick overview of the wash plant. Upon entering the site, it was clear from the lack of organization and overall atmosphere that this mine paled in comparison to those visited previous. However, we did receive full safety gear from the mine for the underground portion. The underground infrastructure proved to be an interesting experience. The floor of the drifts were littered with pot holes, deep puddles, larger cobbles ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit May 8th 2012

The day began as most others, at around 7am for breakfast. I would have to say the Turkish tea is growing on me quite a bit. The tour planned for today was for Eldorado’s “EFEMÇUKURU” operation. The ride to the mine was fairly short, approximately 1.5 hours through the rural foothills surrounding Izmir. A wrong turn found us in a small village of approximately 700 people on top of one of the large hills and they definitely had not seen a tour bus full of white boys. After getting quick directions, we were back on our way to the mine. As we approached, it was hard to believe that there was a mine in this area. The foothills are covered in pristine Turkish Vineyards and untouched nature. As always, the rural Turkey did on disappoint. The ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit May 6th 2012

Day:….Day Off! Today was deemed a day off for everyone (including our driver and tour guide). With the temperature in the high 20’s and blue skies everyday so far, the majority of us decided we wanted to swim in the Mediterranean. Our tour guide suggested a nice beach in a small town approximately 1.5 hours by public transit…let the adventure begin. Public transit in Turkey, specifically Izmir, is surprisingly good. However, it only took 22 Canadians with no Turkish vocabulary and no preparation to throw the whole system off. After a volley of hand signals, maps and pointing, we figured out the system. In order to reach the beach, we had to take one public transit bus and one coach bus. About mid way through the travel, we were told by several international English teachers from ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit May 5th 2012

Today, breakfast was at 7 am. The last night a few members of the group stayed out fairly late at various bars. Needless to say, several of them did not look so hot at breakfast. The reason for the early breakfast was a trip to Ephesus, one of the most famous tour sites in all of Turkey. At this point, I would like to mention that I dabbled, for the first time, with an interesting device that is common place in Turkey but not in North America, the infamous Bidet. For those of you that do not know what this device is, please google It know before proceeding further…I will admit is it an interesting luxury. At 8am, we rolled out to Ephesus. After a bus induced nap, I awoke in a parking lot, surrounded by ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Izmit June 30th 2011

Ağva’ya zar zor bir yoldan vardık.Yol bayağı kötü ve insan soruyor bu kadar kötü olmasının nedeni nedir diye… Ağva'ya özellikle hafta sonlarında şehrin karmaşasından kaçmak isteyenler ilgi gösteriyor. İstanbul'a yakınlığı, muhteşem doğası, kumsalı, denizi, yürüyüş alanları, gelişen otel ve pansiyonculuğuyla Ağva, bu ilgiyi hak ediyor. Ağva, Hititler, Frigler, Romalılar ve Osmanlılar gibi birçok uygarlığın geçiş yeri olmuş bir belde. M.Ö. 7. yüzyıla uzanan tarihin kalıntılarına, Ağva'ya bağlı civar köylerde rastlamak mümkün. Kalem Köy'de Romalılara ait kilise kalıntıları ve mezar taşları, Hacıllı Köyü'nde, 3. yüzyıl sonu - 4.yüzyıl başlarında bulunan Gürlek Mağarası, Hisar Tepe'de bulunan kale kalıntısı, Sungurlu mahallesindeki dağ değirmeni önemli buluntular . Ağva'ya 14. ... read more

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