Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 22


Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Ayvalik August 29th 2014

Ayvalik, Turkey August 28th 2014 “Zen teaches vigilant carelessness and detached involvement. In a more high-sounding phrase, it teaches transcendental ordinariness. In a simpler, more sympathetic phrase, it teaches nothing but ordinariness” Yoel Hoffman, The sound of the one hand I was back in Ayvalik again, the port of departure for Lesvos a week earlier, when I had reconnoitred this quaint old town as a place I would not mind spending some down time in. 'Down time' means just lolling around a place, getting a feel for it, getting to know where the best places to hang are (not too many and not too far from where one is staying), and becoming familiar with at least a few locals. That week before I had just spent one night on my way through to Lesvos, and couchsurfed ... read more
Best haulage mode for these streets
Business as usual
Market Day covered street

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia August 29th 2014

I'd not realised just how ill my husband was when writing last night's blog, but during the night it because quite clear, he was feverish as well has retching with a jippy belly. I thought he might need a doctor. However, I walked down to the pharmacy (getting into town only takes 10 minutes once you know the way) and the pharmacist despite saying he only knew a little english was very helpful. I'd say he knew a lot of english, enough to discuss all symptoms and I went back to our hotel with three boxes, each with hand written instructions. Glyn had not slept much in the night, so left him to sleep whilst I read. By midday I realised that he was not going to be able to get out and thought that at ... read more
Average sized doorway in Kaymakli.
One of the larger doorways in Kaymakli.

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Ankara August 29th 2014

Sigacik August 29 2014 Our visa collecting in Ankara has gone better than we dared hope so we have headed for the seaside prior to meeting Jayne and Paul in Fethiya. In the case of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan with support of Letters of Invitation obtained via Stan Tours we got the visas from the consulates in Ankara on the same day. The biggest challenge turned out to be paying them. I have written previously about the Usbek consulate experience. It was similar for Turkmenistan. This time there was no friendly Turk and we were sent of to find the "Ish" bank so we could directly into the consulate account. People on the street we asked told us where it was and we still could not find it at first. In fact we walked past it because ... read more
All manicured and ready to hit the road

Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia August 28th 2014

When a stranger offers you a lift in a foreign country as you are standing on a street corner waiting for a bus, you can't help but be dubious. Is he really doing it just 'to be hospitable' or will he kidnap us? We could easily end up in tomorrow's news, or worse, a carpet shop. Thrift and curiosity surpassed common sense and I know that my parents will read this and give me a telling off when I get home. By the way, I've got a cat sitting on me as I type this. I'm sat on the terrace of my hotel, looking down on Goreme with a stray that loves me, but also seems to like my cream cheese crisps. He's also trying to stop my type, this is just like being at home ... read more
Trying to blog with help of friendly Turkish cat.
View from Cave Life Hotel, Goreme.
Goreme Open Air Museum.

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet August 27th 2014

I always pack my Skipton Castle wind up torch when I go on holiday but have never actually needed it before and didn't expect to in Istanbul. But there's been a powercut for hours and all I can do is type this blog with torch in teeth to see the keyboard and go for toilet trips. The morning started dark too, going down the unlit and twisted stairs of our hostel, we came across the helpful lady we met yesterday who appeared to be sitting with no light, waiting for people who needed help. As always, we needed help and she is great, we could do with her coming with us throughout the trip... "Tomorrow we are getting a plane from an airport beginning with 'S', how do we get there?" and so on. We walked ... read more
Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque -crappy corner where women are allowed to pray.
The Blue Mosque.

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 27th 2014

27th Aug 2014 As we were driven out of Istanbul we discussed whether we'd come back and the answer was yes....but not in a hurry. This wasn't just because of the profligacy of socks and sandals wearers but more to do with how busy it is. In the 1980s the population of Istanbul was 3 million, it has now grown to a staggering 15 million and every one of them has stood in my way over the last few some tourists as well. There is plenty more to see if we did come back although we have crammed quite a lot into our few days here. Today we have somehow walked up and down more hills than we did in San Francisco! At some points we actually knew where we were going....but not many. We ... read more
View from Galata Tower
Some weird arty film
Modern art

Middle East » Turkey August 27th 2014

Sometimes a cliché is the best description. Istanbul is where east meets west, geographically, politically, socially and spiritually. For over 40 years the Turkish wanted to be European. They became a secular republic, they built tree lined boulevards and developed a welfare system. They courted Euro-powers and were promised inclusion in the Euro zone but repeatedly denied access. Now they’ve decided they’re sick of sucking up to past enemies. They’ve survived the global financial crisis without recession, have a burgeoning economy, low unemployment and a young, well educated population. So they’re turning their backs on the ailing west and looking east towards developing economies such as China. We learned all this from Alp our tour guide who was rabidly patriotic and more than a little defensive when Rhys asked awkward questions about religion and bacon... read more
Turkish tea - like the locals we prefered it to coffee
but the coffee looks more picturesque
cool cats

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 27th 2014

If ever we are lost, I always know to go uphill, because no matter where you are, the most difficult and steep route is the right one. If it has numerous steps disappearing into the infinity point, worn slippy with age and no shade, that is the direction that Glyn and I are headed. And I'm always suspicious of any route that starts going downhill as this is surely a sign that we are lost. This has certainly been the mantra of the day and I will pay for it in the morning. I woke in the night to the sound of the fan switching on after 4 hours of powercut which I'm told is very unusual for the city centre. The helpful lady who lives at the bottom of the stairs told us that it ... read more
Istanbul from Galata Tower.
One of many telephone trees.
Pretentious shizzle in Modern Art Museum.

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 26th 2014

34667 - ausgegebene euros 6075 meter - höchster punkt (chachani) 5100 meter - höchste verbrachte nacht 179 - nächte fern ab von zu hause 63 - verschiedene hotels, hostels und b&bs 60 cent - billigstes essen zu zweit (kathmandu) 50 - wahrscheinlich mehr, neue freunde 40 euro - teuerstes essen (zu zweit, in rio) 39 grad celsius - höchst gemessene körpertemperatur 37 grad - wärmster tag (phnom penh) 30 - flüge, inklusive nasca-linien 15 - länder die wir insgesamt angeflogen sind 10 - nächte auf schiffen 9 - länder, die wir bereist haben 3 - nächte im zelt verbracht 2 - bettwanzenübergriffe 1 - vermeintlicher handy-diebstahl (wahrscheinlich haben wir es aber verloren!) -17 grad - kälteste erlebte temperatur (chachani) -25 meter - tiefster punkt (kicker rock, galapagos) mit einem lachenden und einem weinenden auge kommen wir ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul August 26th 2014

I've never really liked people generally. I like some of course, hell I even married one! But generally all people do is get in my way, wear horrendous things, do horrendous things and get in my way again. A lot of them are quite keen on occupying the same physical space as me too which is even more annoying. And if I find whoever made this keyboard where the spacebar only works if you smack it with a hammer...I'll smack you with a hammer. Quid pro quo and all that! There have been a lot of people getting in my way around Istanbul today as you may ascertain from the opening paragraph. I'm not much for crowds and today has been very crowded but this is no excuse for not looking where you're going or pushing ... read more
Scaffolding inside Ayasofia
Grand Bazaar

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