Sea day

Today was, as the title says, a sea day. We spent the day on a Turkish boat, cruising for a short time around Kaleüçağız. Yep, take notes, there’ll be a test on that one later. It’s a beautiful seaside village with a rather large marina full of tourist and traveller boats. On the way, we were treated to a spectacular view of Kaş from a lookout a few stories above it. [Read More]

Status quo and love

If the status quo was the best idea we’d still be nomads scratching in the dirt for grubs. Or we’d still be bacteria. A piece of paper which was designed on a computer and printed by a giant automated printer, then folded by robots and inserted into an envelope, again, by robots, was sent to your house. A person will have put it in your letter box, and you or your partner would have taken it into your house, a place built by men and women out of parts suffused with centuries of improvement. [Read More]

Kaş

Another early morning on the road, having had a terrible night’s sleep due to misbehaving air conditioning in the hotel. I know, privileged much? It’s alright if you know it’s going to be hot, you’ll get a fan or change how you sleep - but alternating between 21 and 30 degrees in the room was no fun at all. First stop this morning was the Saklikent carpet weaver’s collective. A group brought together with government and other funding to promote the ancient skills of knot-work carpet weaving. [Read More]

Fethiye

Today we started heading towards the south-western corner of Turkey and the coastal town of Fethiye. We had a few hours’ drive ahead of us so along the way we heard a few new facts. Roughly 65% of the Turkish population is under 35, with roughly a quarter of the 80 million residents being in school at any given time. One university entrance exam is held per year, run by the government, and if you miss it or fail it, then your life’s on hold for another year. [Read More]

Pamukkale

Today we started our third day in Selçuk with another delicious breakfast of local olives, eggs and other great things. I could really get used to this. An early start was on the cards due to the long transit, so we got our butts in gear and headed up to the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist and Ayasuluk Kalesi. More crumblies, beautiful views and a warm day. Emphasis on the warm. [Read More]

Troia and the road to Selçuk

Today was scheduled to be a long day of travel, and it definitely lived up to it. Starting in our accommodation, the ANZAC hotel in Çanukkale, we aimed to get to Selçuk by late afternoon, including a stop at the ruins of the city of Troia. Google maps says it’s five and a half hours, but that doesn’t include traffic in Izmir nor the stops along the way. The historic ruins of Troy are simple, but spectacular in the details. [Read More]

First full day, Gallipoli

Today was the first full day on the road with the tour group, all of us piling into the van at early o’clock and starting our journey to the monuments of the Gallipoli campaign. A few things we learnt on the way out, before the scenery started… Istanbul’s a city of 17 million people and 4 million cars, thankfully we were going in the “outbound” direction this morning so traffic wasn’t terrible. [Read More]

The start of the tour

Realising that breakfast was part of the hotel stay really made my morning. Procuring that which sustains me was a little bit concerning after last night’s adventure, and I really wasn’t looking forward to stumbling out into the street, half asleep looking for food. We weren’t due to meet up with the tour until 1300 today, so we went back to Gülhane park for a wander and to explore more of the space. [Read More]

London to Istanbul

Transit day, our flight was due to leave at 10:15am, so to get there in time we were up before 0600. Caught the train from Covent Garden to Green Park, transferred to the Victoria line down to London Victoria station. From there it was a rather pleasant journey on the Gatwick Express to the airport. Victoria station is a bit of a mess, there’s construction around a large section of the outside and GPS doesn’t work so you can’t find where you are until you do half a lap. [Read More]

Indoors day

Given it was raining before we arose, we chose a few things on the things-to-do list which were generally indoors. The first of these was the Churchill War Rooms, the underground bunker complex that was used for most of the second world war to run the show. There’s a lovely self-paced audio tour of the facilities almost exactly as they were, along with an expanded museum area dedicated to Churchill’s life. [Read More]