Blogs from Turkey, Middle East - page 33


Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 11th 2014

Istanbul Friday was a nice ride through some North West Greek country side, followed by lots of motorway miles to Alexandroupolis. On Saturday we got a really early start to do battle with the Turkish border anf the Istanbul traffic. We got the added adversity of cold rain and wet roads. It took two hours to get through Turkish and customs, for no other reason than inadequate staffing and domonstrating who is in charge. We rode for lots of miles on the shoulder through the Istanbul motorway system, creeping somewhat faster than the traffic. The rain let up a little before we got in at about 3PM. We had a nice dinner Saturday night, and got some extra sleep Sunday morning. After a big rsin storm Sunday afternoon, the skies are clearing. We should have fine ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet May 10th 2014

Von heute gibt's nicht viel zu erzählen - wieder früh aufgestanden, 40 km an die türkische Grenze gerast. Damit diesmal keine Probleme mit dem Van sind, hat jeder 2 Motorradreifen aufgeschnallt bekommen. Die Grenzformalitäten schlichen so vor sich hin, Unterhaltung ergab sich durch lauthalse Streitereien, weil plötzlich eine zweite Reihe eröffnet wurde, und die Leute in unserer Reihe ewig warten mussten, weil wir so kompliziert waren. Gdleich hinter der Grenze wurden die Reifen wieder in den Van geschmissen, außerdem begann es zu regnen. Und dann goß es. 40 km vor Istanbul begann der Stau, die einfahrt kam mir so vor wie eine Fahrt durch ein Aquarium voller Verrückter. Aber insgesamt war es sehr spassig. Und alle kamen an. Das hotel liegt unterhalb der Sultan Ahmed Mosche, fast direkt am Meer. Zimmer recht putzig, aber halt klein. ... read more
Hagia Sofia
Sultan Achmed Moschee
Vorspeise Group Meal

Middle East » Turkey » Aegean » Kusadasi May 9th 2014

Up early and of course Em wanted a sleep in… never when we want it! Anyway we had a quick breakfast and went straight to our tour bus. The ride to Ephesus was short and pretty soon we were trying to listen to our guide telling us the history while chasing Em around the ruins. Ephesus was the second largest city of the Roman Empire and the capital of Asia Minor housing around 250,000 people. Built on an ancient river 8km from the sea, the port eventually silted up and trade dwindled spelling the end of the city’s importance. Some time later, a large earthquake shook the region and landslides from the surrounding hills buried what was left of the city for centuries. It was finally excavated in the 19th century and several of the structures ... read more
Our Little Performer
Roman Toilets

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Dalaman May 7th 2014

Note: if you double click on any of the pictures you will be transferred to the picture gallery where they will be enlarged to half page size. Unlike my previous blogs where I’ve kept a detailed daily record this one is more of a summary: hopefully less text and more photos (muffled cheering from the back of the class). However, owing to some inclement seasonal weather here in Dalyan i.e. UK type weather, there’s not even much in the way of photos. The story to date is therefore as follows: May 1st: Monarch Airlines ZB908 Birmingham to Dalaman a fast (four and a bit hours) and comfortable flight to be met by my brother Pete and his wife Margaret, plus the rep from the car hire company. A swift transit to the Villa Limon in Dalyan, ... read more
We came for this
Dalyan from Kaunos Citadel
Dalyan Panorama

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Alanya May 7th 2014

Woolly says – with the sun beating down, cake consumed for breakfast – well you have to have a healthy diet – I hustled Jo and her multitude of phones, camera’s and bags out of the door. First stop the bakery over the road for a little snack, the pastries are just so delicious with so many different fillings, being unable to decide I selected several and tucked into my first one as we walked down the road to grab a taxi, well I do have to keep my strength up! I don’t know where he puts it all! The pastries were supposed to be for our picnic lunch but I would be lucky to get a crumb at the rate the Mammoth was consuming. Woolly says – Checking myself over for crumbs I spotted our ... read more
Byzantine Church
Scaling the Heights
It's a Long Way Down

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 7th 2014

As this is an overnight stop, we had a leisurely breakfast before going ashore again to explore Istanbul a bit further. We walked over the bridge again as we couldn’t get any change for the tram. If you come to Turkey, everything is pretty cheap so don’t go getting large denomination Turkish Lira notes as no one can change them. Luckily, the old city is a pretty small area. The area between the bridge and the harbour entry is called the Golden Horn and it is almost completely covered by the Topkapi Palace and gardens. It was the residence of the Sultan and his entourage but unlike many other palaces around the world, it has a more human scale with almost no buildings above 2 storeys. The gardens are beautiful and as we reached the entry, ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Ortaköy May 7th 2014 Packed some more.... Weighed suitcases etc. Shopped t.oo much to get packed. Either leave clothes here or borrow extra suitcase, Decided to borrow duffel bag re-pcaked.....put.dirty clothes in duffel ..... Souvenirs in suitcase. It is really hard to squeeze 6 boxes of Turkish Delight into one suitcase! Tomorrow we leave for Amsterdam. Goodbye to amazing Turkey. We will have to return....there is still much to see here. Wonderful month with Peter, Shannon, Abby and Luke. We had such a wonderful time. Many happy memmories of our travels with them! Hang with us a few more days....... We Will have a mini-adventure in Amsterdam before heading home.... read more
Goodbye Istanbul

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Ortaköy May 6th 2014

Today we toured ICMC. The International Catholic Migration Commission where Peter works as the Head of Affiliated Services. He showed us all the areas of the resettlement center and introduced us to his fellow workers. He then explained the process the immigrants must go through in order to qualify for resettlement in another country. It was very interesting and enlightening to realize what qualifications they must meet. It does make you stop to think how lucky you are to have been born in the USA. After our tour we went back to Zorlu Mall to meet one of Shannon's friends from her International Women's group for lunch. We had a delicious lunch.... (I had Lamb Chops) then headed home to think about the chore ahead. :-((((( packing!!!! That was all we did though. ....think about it! ... read more
Abby at the wheel
Up in the Air
Shannon, Luke , Abby.   Cappadocia

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 6th 2014

***VERSION EN ESPAÑOL MÁS ABAJO*** Istanbul is a wonderful city and Turkey is a tourist friendly country that sparked our curiosity, admiration and insight into learning as much as we could about its history. Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople and capital of the Ottoman Empire, combines the present, past, and future all in one place. Getting there we encountered some hiccups with a 2 hour-long immigration line to actually get in the country and a lost bag but at the end it was all worth it! Most people spend 3-4 days in Istanbul but we had almost 6 days there so we got to do quite a bit of exploring and food tasting! On our first day, since we knew it was going to be sunny and warmer than the rest of the week, we took ... read more
Roman castle in Anadolu Kavağı
Grand Bazaar
Basilica Cistern

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul May 6th 2014

Another day at sea today as we move from Athens to Istanbul in Turkey. Our path takes us through a narrow passage in the Dardanelles past the Gallipoli Peninsula. ANZAC cove is actually on the far side of the peninsula so we didn’t get to see it but we did go right past the modern city of Gallipoli. At the beginning of the passage is the ancient city of Troy but as we went past at about 4am, we didn’t manage to spot Brad Pitt or Eric Bana ;) Em just wanted to go back to the kids club this morning so while she played there, we played Chinese checkers while watching the world go past out the panoramic windows at the front of the boat. It is still very overcast so there is not much ... read more
The Blue Mosque

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