6 Jun 2013


I’ve not long returned from the annual week away with the local village group. This year it was Turkey. The title of the trip “La Turquie à grande vitesse” (Turkey at Great Speed) was a pretty good indication of the pace of things! 

Bize to Marseille by bus, flight to Bodrum – arrive at hotel 4am. On the road by 8.30am. Three of the six days on the road were 650kms, 650kms and 860kms!

We saw some great sites – Ephesus, Pamukkale, Cappadocia and Istanbul.

I saw quite a bit more of Istanbul than the others as I had decided to have a bit of time out while the group visited the Topkapi Palace which I’d been to quite a few years ago.

I thought I’d have a peaceful few hours back at the hotel. But the taxi ride from one of the mosques turned into a grand tour of the city.

He was really lost – he asked three different taxi drivers the way, then some local people and finally he rang the hotel. Still no luck. Fortunately I had the mobile phone number of our guide, who he finally rang to get directions. So an interesting last day in Istanbul.

The riots started the day we left….. but not because of it ….




Konya - home of the whirling dervishes
Road-side stop - delicious yoghurt, honey and white poppy seeds 
One night in Istanbul, a few of us broke away form the group meal at the hotel and went out to a traditional restaurant recommended by the guide. We ordered a plate of starters and the ‘specialty of the house’ – lamb done in a salt crust. For some reason, the salt crust was flamed at the table before being broken open with a mallet. Delicious.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul
Nesting storks on a column of the Temple of Artemis
Dried aubergines and peppers
The Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

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