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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 20th 2021

Enjoyed my first tour with Salih.http://www.heygo.com Fener was historically the most important Greek quarter of the city, just a short walk up from the Golden Horn. It flourished after the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans when the Sultan encouraged the Orthodox people to settle there, and it became a prosperous and prosperous district. From the 18th century until the end of the Ottoman Empire, it was to decline and almost fall into ruin in the mid-1950s as a result of the programme that drove the Greek people out, forcing them to leave Istanbul. We saw the imposing Greek Orthodox High School in red bricks. Nowadays, it is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Istanbul, It is experiencing a new lease of life since the 2000s with the Unesco plan that has allowed the restoration ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul June 11th 2021

First off, yes, the dates on the title of this blog post are correct. We spent 4 wonderful days in Istanbul as a stop over on our way back to the US when leaving Tsamaya in the water in Fethiye, Turkey. Our plan was to spend the winter in the US and return to Tsamaya in the spring of 2020. As everyone knows plans changed with the spread of Covid. As a result, we have been in the US since the end of October 2019 and as of June 2021 are still here. I did have the best of intentions and it was always in the back of my mind that I really should sit down and pull together a blog post on our time in Istanbul and then provide updates throughout our time back in ... read more
Stunning Arches in the Bazaar
Yes, The Bazaar Has Everything You'd Want
The Spice Bazaar Is All That You Can Imagine & More

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 27th 2021

We are back on a plane tomorrow morning, so I thought it's maybe time to log my last blog. Here I am for 3 days and 2 nights in Istanbul. You cannot go direct between South Africa and Turkey, but you need to stop in a "safer" country for minimum 10 days or risking a 14 days quarantine upon arrival in a government facility at your own cost. Well....Egypt did the deal for over ten days and I was not even asked about my prior traveling movement upon the last 10 days. I can confirm too that Turkish Airlines (even as a Gold member), is better to avoid right now! Been flying with Qatar lately...great lounge, great staff...no decent duty-free in Doha...and Emirates has not resumed to fly to South Africa since 16th January...and it could ... read more
Around Taksim...
At least the restaurant at the hotel is open, with a view on the Bosphorus...
Cat are sleeping everywhere in Istanbul...

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia September 3rd 2020

Cappadocia has been on our bucket list for a long time but a lot of people have told me they have no clue what or where it is. So, here is a bit of a backgrounder:Thousands of years ago, people carved a tunnel and chamber complex into the soft rock and in the 4thcentury, an underground urbanisation was created in central Turkey. The landscape is a honeycomb of man made caves, places to live, work, and worship. Entire towns were formed by tunnel complexes. Here is a lengthy video of our visit to Cappadocia We climbed through tunnels in underground cities... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia March 4th 2020

3rd/4th Feb 2020 Goreme, Cappadocia The Green Tour! There are three tours you can do at any one of the hundred tour agencies in the little town of Goreme. Red, Green and Blue. We opted for green and today we travelled around 250 kms to visit some spectacular sights. The Derinkuyu underground city: These cave cities were originally excavated around 1700 BC, and are as deep as 85m! That's almost 4000 years old! They believe they were built to withstand attacks rather than be permanent dwellings, but they contained all of the usual rooms found in a normal city - stables, storage rooms, kitchens, wineries, studies and churches. The extensive network of passages and tunnels and inclined corridors linked family rooms and communal spaces where people would meet, work and worship. Corridors could be quickly blocked ... read more
Goreme, Cappadocia
Goreme, Cappadocia
Goreme, Cappadocia

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia March 2nd 2020

28th/29th Feb 2020 Antalya As planned, we just took it easy this past two days, catching up on laundry, sleep and walking miles and miles around the city and the old town. This is a really pretty town with a really positive vibe, and it has real Melbourne weather - raining one minute, sunshine the next. We are heading for Cappadocia tomorrow morning on the 7.30am Kamil Koc bus. I'm not sure what made me look for the bus route online, but I did. The bus on this route only leaves twice a day, every day. For some reason, I can't see the bus we are travelling on. It's showing a shedule for the night bus but not the morning bus...... our bus. Perhaps its booked up now. Perhaps its not a real bus. Perhaps I'm ... read more
Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Goreme

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Antalya February 27th 2020

25 Feb 2020 Pamukkale Today turned out to be one of my favourites.This morning we drove out to the last of the ruins at Laodecia, another ancient biblical city mentioned in Revelations, and the last use of the infamous Museum Pass! Each site we've visited has had its own unique highlight. Today, we are at a live excavation site, and the team are reconstructing the western Theatre. It is facsinating to watch the sand blasting of pillars, meticulously measured so that each piece perfectly fits the next. This site is going to be absolutely incredible in years to come. It covers 5 hectares! Shane says: Museum card totals: Up 120 lira. There you go Sharls, well worth the museum card. Sharls says: There's a little spot that has piqued my interst around 40kms away called Kaklik ... read more
Laodecia
Laodecia
Kaklik Cave

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Pamukkale February 24th 2020

23 Feb 2020 Sirince We decided to catch the town bus to the little town of Sirince today. Its a little piece of heaven about 8 kms away. Being a Sunday, this small Greek village, surrounded by thousands of Olive trees, is expected to be a little busy with weekend visitors. I'm not sure if it is always bazarre like, but it is today, and we're browsing through the produce on offer, including the wine tastings, which are at almost every 5th shop. Now I've heard a little bit about the differnet types of milk that are ingested in this part of the world, and of their medicinal qualities, but I'm a little surprised that horse and donkey milk are a thing! Donkey milk is apparently very similar to human milk so is very nutritious for ... read more
Pamukkale
Pamukkale
Pamukkale

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Selçuk February 22nd 2020

21 Feb 2020 Izmir - Selçuk Today we caught the train to Selcuk and we're staying at St John Hotel for the next three nights. The dude at the front desk hasn't made a great impression, and neither has the damp smell in the room. There are about ten things on the list to do here over the next two days and I'm wondering if we're going to fit them all in. We arrived at around 2 and had a delicious bowl of lentil soup for lunch. The restaurant is owned by a lovely couple. The dishes are made for the day and you basically choose what you want from whatever is cooked on the day. I did notice on the board out front that they serve Moussaka. I asked the owner if they have it ... read more
Selçuk
Selçuk
Selçuk

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Izmir » Konak February 20th 2020

17.02.20 Ayvalik- Izmir So its so long Ayvalik! We had another weird dining experience last night at Mira Steak house. Another one of those "Oh, come and have a look at the cabinet....it will be like a live menu!", nights. T-bone steak for Shane and a turkish kebab for moi. He also brings us a "spoonful of everything" from the Mezze cabinet and a little something extra "on the house". Apparently it is raw meat with spices and red rice all minced together. And it's delicious! There is so much food we are clearly not going to be able to eat our main meals! I have a rule usually, that we dont eat anything that looks a bit dubious the night before a travel day, because on the odd occasion it has all gone to shit, ... read more
Pergamon
Pergamon
Pergamon




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