Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 10

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Middle East » Turkey October 21st 2014

We boarded the gullet last night and had a restful evening as the boat gently rocked side by side. I felt like a baby in it's cradle. We made land on a small beach in the Bay of Gemiler and visited Kayakoy, a Greek "ghost town". During the 1920's The Anatolian Greeks were relocated to Greece and the Turks that were in Greece were relocated back to Turkey. This was the aftermath of the Turkish War of Independence. 1.2 million people were up-rooted, including our guide's grandparents who had a vineyard in Greece, but had to loose it all and be relocated to Turkey to start all over again. It was devastating to many, as one would imagine. The ghost town once had 600 houses and we were able to walk the streets and look in. ... read more
Ghost town
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Shop at Ghost Town

Middle East » Turkey October 21st 2014

Day 13, October 21, 2014 -- Today, we anchored near a beach next to Cleopatra's Baths. I suggested to our guide that for future trips he ought to bring along the movie of Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton. Many of us (me included) had to be brought up to speed on Cleopatra. I am not sure if the facts are correct, but she was 15 when she died after having married Mark Antony and Julius Caeser was also in the picture somewhere. To honor her as Queen, Mark Antony gave her a wedding gift of all the land and seas of the Turquoise Coast. According to our guide, there are numerous spots named after her including Cleopatra's Baths, Mountain, Cove etc. Of course, these are all stories that noone can prove but it is ... read more
Cleopatra's Baths
Cleopatra's Bath
Arya Yachting Cruise Gulet

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Alanya October 20th 2014

Woolly says – I was ready for anything, brushed, groomed and with a dab of ‘before shave’ between the ears….. A bath would have been better Woolly! Woolly says - …… with today’s favourite bandanna firmly knotted, pistachio’s stored in my back pack and my hat at a rakish angle the only thing I needed was a pen, to sign all the autographs once my interview in Hello magazine came out. He did look very spruce to be fair and he couldn’t help giving little bounces as he wandered round collecting pens in his excitement. I was more nervous than excited but hopefully Woolly would make it easy by discussing his favourite places in Alanya. Woolly says – Well that was a question that had made me scratch my head for quite a while, I mean ... read more
Yes folks I'm going to be in here!!!!
Photo Shoot with my Hero Mustafa
Checking out Hello Alanya

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Alanya October 18th 2014

Woolly says – Isn’t it strange how things can happen, having never been to a wedding before I am now the proud bearer of TWO invitations. Over four thousand miles apart and from two completely different cultures I left the small details to Jo and set about preparing my outfits. I’ll give him small details!!!! While the fur ball considered his bow ties I organised the travel plans, accommodation, snacks and the million other things to enable us to attend and support our friends at both events. Wedding one, Sammy and Ray in Stourbridge, England, let’s head back to the 20th September…….. Woolly says – I sat watching the grey clouds moving across the sky and kept my paws crossed that my first ever wedding wasn’t to be blighted by rain. The smell of perfumes and ... read more
Sammy and Ray with an interloper
Maria and Mustafa
The Bridal Party

Middle East » Turkey October 18th 2014

Today we were in both Asia and Europe, yesterday we were mainly in Asia...Turkey certainly spans the continents in a very interesting way. Yesterday we were up at 4am an off to the Cappodocia, or Kapadokya as it is in Turkish, region. We flew with Turkish Airways and it was brilliant - much like an Air NZ flight BUT all the seats were leather...oft, sumptuous leather and the smell was devine. The drive from the airport in Cappodocia to the main sights was quite like travelling in part of Central Otago and the McKenzie country only without the big irrigators. Then we hit the area of the mind-blowing cities below the ground that date many hundreds of years BC, the fairy towers that are basalt from a volcanic eruption 2 million years ago that were then ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet October 18th 2014

ISTANBUL 18.10.14 cooler and late showers. This morning we visited the Basilica Cistern, just down the road from the hotel. Built in 532AD, to provide water for the now vanished Byzantine Palace. Comprised of over 300 columns, deep underground, some with carvings of Medusa and Peacock eyes. Very beautiful place enhanced by haunting music. Afterwards we had decided to visit the nearby Blue Mosque and Aya Sophia, however today the tourist crowds arrived and the queues were long. SO, we bypassed them for Turkish Coffee, mud like, but ultimately quite drinkable, and amazing Turkish Delights and Pastries from Hafiz Mustafa, established in 1864 and still going strong. Afterwards we did another lap of the Grand Bazaar, before again contemplating the Blue Mosque. Queues of at least 1500 people in front of us made us search for ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey October 18th 2014

More time spent in Antalya and then on to Myra where we visited ancient Roman ruins. We climbed into the large theater still has intact marble seats and mask friezes in the elaborate stage area. It seated around 10,000 people. The archaeologists estimate the size of the cities by measuring how large the theatre is times 10. So, if they are correct, there were approximately 100,000 people in the area. There are also Lycian house-tombs carved into cliffs which in itself, were quite amazing. They were built in the 4th century BC, and contain some of the earliest examples of Lycian script. Another interesting stop was at the Church of St. Nicholas in Demre. This was built in the 4th century AD when St. Nick was the bishop. Do you recognize the name? This is where ... read more
St. Nicholas statue
Myra - Ancient Theatre ruins
Myra Theatre

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet October 17th 2014

ISTANBUL. 17.10.14. Beautiful Weather This morning we received marvellous news fro George, that she had passed her third exam of the Chartered Qualification, an exam she was very concerned about. A great achievement and one that got us off to a good start for the day. Today we visited the other side of the Golden Horn, taking the tram across the Galata bridge to the station end at Kabatas. The tram route ran adjacent to the Bosphorus. At the tram end we then took a funicular which ran uphill inside the mountain to Taksim Sq, or Independence Sq, the scene of Turkish protests. Near the square we fell upon the most amazing pastry store, HAFIZ MUSTAFA in business since 1864. Unfortunately it was too early for sweets!! Wandered back along Istiklal Cadesi, a pedestrian mall and ... read more
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Middle East » Turkey October 17th 2014

Catch up time for the blog -- sorry about the unavoidable gaps. Lake Beysehir and Antalya -- Our overnight stay in Busak was over, a small village of 660 people. The bed was ridiculously hard but we were grateful for the unforgettable experience to live for one day & night in a small village. We were greeted by the rooster and cows in the early morning along with a wonderful breakfast, then farewell to a lovely family. Unemployment for the country is at 9.8%. Young people (18-25) are at 18%. The country offers little unemployment = to about a "hamburger and a cup of coffee" per day. We had a "discovery stop" along the highway and took a tour of an apple orchard owned by a woman & her family. They were picking and she gave ... read more
Zeus
Stray cat house
Village men waving good-bye.

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet October 16th 2014

ISTANBUL 16 October 2016 Now back in Istanbul, two months later than my visit after the Silk Road ride. The weather is changing, now much cooler than July, but still pleasant exploring temperature. The flights were long, and the flight from Dubai to Istanbul on a 777 was cramped and full. Did not think Emirates Economy was any better than any other airline recently experienced! The A380 from Brisbane to Dubai, 14.5 hours was marginally better. Set out this morning, first visiting the Arista Bazaar. Rent from the stalls support the running of the adjacent Blue Mosque. The shops here sell a better quality product and Mem and I saw many items that appealed! Continued to wander the back streets which were interesting and exotic. Reappeared opposite the Grand Bazaar so continued our wanderings through gold ... read more
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