Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 11


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 23rd 2014

I think the old adage a picture speaks a thousand words is one to embrace. I am probably guilty of writing too much and embedding too few photos in my posts. Here I have gone the other way but if you are interested in trawling through the pictures I have done my best to label and annotate them accordingly. I never set out to 'do' Istanbul as some might attempt, seeking to tick off the major attractions as listed in a popular guidebook or magazine. The first time I was in the city last year I was there simply as a prelude to an assignment for a couple of days. A very interesting couple of days mind you whilst demonstrations in Taksim and various marches and protests elsewhere kicked off. No, I've taken Istanbul mainly as ... read more
Bosphorus from Galata
Swimming in the Bosphorus near Rumeli
500 yo bastion, Rumeli Fortress

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 22nd 2014

Way back last June I came to Turkey, indeed continental Eurasia for the very first time. I had ostensibly signed up for a month long teaching assignment in provincial north-central Anatolia. I was fortunate enough (I will qualify that in another article) to arrive early in the month, bang in the middle of the Gezi Park protests which was more insightful than dangerous. Several days later I was on a coach to Merzifon, a medium sized town an hour or so away from the Black Sea and host to a large military base. We were able to use the town as a platform to explore some of the surrounding towns and villages which included Samsun, where Ataturk rose to prominence quelling the rebellious Anatolian Greeks. and Amasya, which is renowned for a number of stone tombs ... read more
This ice-cream is famous!
Juice bar

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Dalaman August 22nd 2014

Hi. Following my blog from a couple of days ago we headed back up from the Cornish Coast and Plymouth, on to the New Forest and then back to Corsham. Pete, Helen, Alex and Georgie arrived back from their tour of the States so it was great to catch up with them and spend the next few days traveling around Wiltshire and the Bath area with Helen acting as our guide. Every little road seems to end up at a beautiful village or a historic site. In the New Forest we stayed at a beautiful B&B, a thatched cottage. With Helen we went to the Westbury White Horse which is about 400 years old, visited the World Heritage Site of the Avebury Stone circles and one evening Pete and Helen took us to the Gifford Circus ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beyoglu August 20th 2014

So I had a bit of a whinge in my previous post and I apologise if I lost any readers as a result... BUT my points stand :) Mostly though I am the idiot. Travelling without a gadget these days is a bit like having a passport without any pages. You are going to find yourself in difficulties at some point, particularly if you are dependent on the technology for blogging, travel bookings, flight changes etc on the go. Lesson learnt. As I mentioned it is a year down the line and here I am back in Europe's largest city, or the Mıddle East's depending on your defınition of the geographic boundaries. What has changed? If anything it seems more frenetic this time around. I checked into a hostel last Thursday near Taksım and have used ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 18th 2014

This week we have been On the Go in Turkey! The old boy and I did a small group tour of Turkey for a week with 'On the Go ' tours. There were nineteen in the group, comprising mostly of Aussies (surprise, surprise), four South Africans and a couple from Canada. Mehmet is our English speaking guide, he is Turkish obviously, he speaks 7 languages, was a university professor and is an archaeologist, we were in good hands! Mehmet made sure that we had an excellent tour of 'the Turkey'. Mehmet's intrepretation of the English language cracked me up .....on our first day he told the group he would wait for us near the wase (pointing to the wase), I'm looking, thinking huh, what, where, I can't see a wase, I don't even know what a ... read more
Basilica Cistern
Nuts at the Spice market

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 18th 2014

I know much has been wrıtten about this incredible city. As my travel guide says in the preface 'ıf ever there was a happening city is has to be Istanbul.' Ok, I'm sure that could be said of a few other great metropolitans but Istanbul is, I can confirm, a very, very busy place. I won't say too much because I'm rather exhausted. You see I have spent most of the day trying to change a flıght ticket and it has been very, very frustrating. The crux of the issue is that I have not been technologically agile enough to negotiate the change ın dates and attendant fee differences. Ataturk aırport has NO INTERNET TERMINALS people. It has plenty of wı-fı but without a gadget you are hamstrung, as I was today. If you are new ... read more
A double helping of Effes after walking the city with Brett
A view of a rather grand mosque.
Seagulls tracked the ferry between Kabataş and Kadaköy

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia August 18th 2014

On the bus to Ankara 5pm August 17 2017 Lie back and think of England! I thought that might help and it just brought an awkward smile to my face as the middle age man's soapy hands got all close to my exposed goolies. Jane was not there to help being in the Ladies Hamam next door. I was getting a massage and wash from a friendly Turk called Abdul in nothing but my birthday suit. We had decided to have a Turkish bath as we had enjoyed the one in Fethiye some years ago and this one at Safranbolu was recommended. It's main draw back is that it was empty at 9.30am on a Sunday. One gets the impression a visit to the Hamam should be a social occasion which makes it difficult when your ... read more
One of the many Ottoman houses that make the town UNESCO registered
Tea at the Bizim Cafe
Morning view from Hidirlik Hill

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Alanya August 16th 2014

Woolly says – I was first up closely followed by Jo, as we sat drinking our first cay of the day we talked about how Turkish we have now become. Cay being a central part of that but we now tend to look at Turkish prices and go ‘that’s expensive’ until converted to the Great British Pound when we realise it’s very very cheap. Accommodation over the last four nights added up to 250 TL which once comes to the princely sum of £71.42 GBP less than £20.00 GBP a night including a feast at breakfast time, happy Mammoth. The shopkeepers seemed to have changed as well, no hassle just the wish to pass the time of day with you, very pleasant. Woolly says – breakfast consumed, well except for the tomato and cucumber, I really ... read more
An overlap of old and new
Breakfast View
Happy Mammoth

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara August 16th 2014

On the bus to Safranbolu 10am August 16, 2014 We were heading to Ankara to collect visas. We needed to get this process going so left Sofia for Istanbul on an overnight bus from 10pm until 5.30am. We then got the 6am bus to Ankara, another 6 hours further on. For the record the HAS bus from Sofia was cramped. The Metro bus to Ankara was much more spacious so we could catch up on the sleep we did not get on the first leg. There is a great bussle in Ankara with a vibrancy and colour. The population of this modern city seems to live of the street. We booked an appointment via the internet at the Indian Embassy for the following Tuesday to get visas. Our first port of call was the Uzbekhistan embassy. ... read more
With Scotty and Lucas and Polo outside the Uzbek Embassy in the heat of the day
Shop assistant gutting our trout supper on the street

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Antalya » Çolakli, August 15th 2014

The morning dawned bright and warm, following a late night involving a water pipe and quite a few measures of alcohol and a lot of umbrellas the Mammoth didn’t appear for breakfast. Woolly says – I think I deserved a lie in after all my hard work over the last few days, although missing breakfast is not a good idea, snacks please! We had rather a nice evening and I couldn’t believe my eyes when we found a street full of umbrellas, all different colours and quite impressive to say the least. With a few new fans in my quest for fame life was good. Our walk back led us past a fleet of horses and carriages, strangely they were all spotted, on closer inspection the poor horses had had the spots painted on! Well I ... read more
The Crooked Minaret
Hadrian's Gate
Finally the Crooked Mosque

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