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Turkey

2014 - AEGEAN ODYSSEY - GALLIPOLI


View 2014 VOYAGE TO ANTIQUITY - AEGEAN & BLACK SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

Ataturk’s Letter to Anzac Mothers – 1934


“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives...

You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.

Therefore rest in peace.

There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.

After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well”



Ataturk

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Posted by hasbeen 02:50 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

2014 - AEGEAN ODYSSEY - ISTANBUL, Turkey


View 2014 VOYAGE TO ANTIQUITY - AEGEAN & BLACK SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

The final day of the first leg of the cruise.

Most everybody is getting off here. Just ten of the twelve staying on board on the excursion today. I have met a few of them but only know Angela & John by name..

So it's goodbye to quite a lot of people I have been chatting with over the last two weeks. . As per usual, not everyone was so nice with a sprinkling of toffee noses, but on the whole, not a bad bunch.

Free booze at dinner helped greece the conversations no doubt.

Those passengers who got off today & had hotels arranged by V2A had four excursions on offer & I am a bit disappointed in that I only had a choice of one. A morning tour of The Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia.

In the event, that was quite enough for me. I need much more time that just eight hours here.

Setting off ... Jenny helping the departing guests off the ship ... Note the Orchestra in the background - it will come in handy on the trivia night later on.

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Had to wait here for people who had not got their landing card from reception. A bit of miscommunication with V2A. Every other day we had been given a Turkey landing card but today we had to go to reception to get it.

Then another wait on the bus for a couple who did not show up.

I think this was maybe the only delay the entire cruise so far. I knew it could not last

Anyway - we are off now.

Turn left out of the port and head for the bridge to what I expected to be Europe but no - not true.

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A stop for photos ....

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and we are into the line for the Blue Mosque. Another little delay while some unprepared people cover their shoulders and legs & the ladies their hair.

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A few too many people inside already. Pity we did not get here a bit earlier.

Angela is a little mad because our guide has changed the scheduled order to avoid even longer lines. She wanted Hagia Sophia first so they could skip the Mosque which they had already seen.

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The central carpet area is roped off, hence the absence of people.

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The guide was droning on but I had taken my headphones off. I just had to keep my eye on him in case he moved off. Some people did not do that & another wait while we searched for them.

They did not turn up, so we left he Mosque - & found them waiting OUTSIDE ..

An Istanbul fashionista ..

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Across the park towards Hagia Sophia now ,,,,,

Lots of posers as usual ...

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A chance for a sit down while the guide waffled on .. Not much to look at here ... Ho Hum ...

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A long line for the Hagia Sophia but the guide had tickets already so our line was shorter. About twenty minutes to get in. Could take hours.

Inside now ...

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This is a sundial on the wall outside ...

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Across the park again ,,,, more fashonistas ...

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& onto the bus ... and another wait. This group is so incredibly slow.

Been way too much standing around on this tour

People wise, it was the worse tour.

Hope it is not a sign of things to come - I have another two weeks of this.

More Graffiti in Istanbul than elsewhere in Turkey. Hope it does not spread.

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Back to the ship for a nap ..

So what to do with the afternoon.? I had hoped to see Topkapi & the underground cistern but the walk from the boat to the Bridge was too far for me and could not face the line ups.

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Off the ship, I turn right instead of left ...

A very nice walk along the waterside.

Lots of tourist, Turkish tourists.

A cup of Aryan at one spot, a Burger at another & a rice pudding somewhere else ..

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And back to the ship for a very nice surprise - I have been UPGRADED. A change to a cabin with a WINDOW! ... I wonder why.

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Here is Carol, one of only 150 people this segment. 300 and some last segment.

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Lorraine & Irish ... at their bar above the Lido ... Looks like I have their company for another two weeks. A tough job, but if someone has to do it, it might as well be me.

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The sun goes down on Istanbul & the fishermen pull in their nets .. we set sail into the Black Sea for a bit of a rest from constant touring. one whole day at sea before getting to out next port - Trabzon, a long way away but still Turkey

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Posted by hasbeen 02:49 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

2014 - AEGEAN ODYSSEY - SUMELA MONASTERY, Turkey


View 2014 VOYAGE TO ANTIQUITY - AEGEAN & BLACK SEA on hasbeen's travel map.

MY ORIGINAL INTENT FOR THESE CRUISES WAS TO VISIT THE BLACK SEA & THE CRIMEA IN PARTICULAR. I AM A FAN OF THE FLASHMAN SERIES & ONE OF THOSE BOOKS IS SET DURING THE CRIMEAN WAR. IN THE BOOK, FLASHMAN STARTED THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE. HE STARTLED HIS HORSE INTO BOLTING BY FARTING.

THE REST, AS THEY SAY, IS HISTORY.

I LOOKED AT WHERE THE SHIP WAS GOING BEFORE & AFTER THE BLACK SEA & DECIDED ON THE PRIOR SEGMENT AS IT HAD A LOT OF STOPS IN TURKEY.

THE CURRENT WAR IN UKRAINE FORCED V2A TO CANCEL SCHEDULED STOPS IN UKRAINE & RUSSIA, AND SUBSTITUTE ROMANIA & MORE STOPS IN GREECE. NOT TO MY LIKING AS I HAVE JUST COME FROM GREECE BUT ... WHAT THE HAY.

THE PRIOR LEG OF THIS CRUISE HAD 300 AND SOME PASSENGERS. RUMOUR HAS IT THAT, THANKS TO THE US STATE DEPARTMENT, THIS LEG HAS ONLY 150. APPARENTLY THE STATE DEPT. ISSUED AN ADVISORY ABOUT THE BLACK SEA & SO US CITIZENS COULD NOT GET INSURANCE COVERAGE.

HENCE - 150 PEOPLE DROPPED OUT.

THIS IS WHY I GET MOVED FROM MY INTERIOR, DECK FOUR, TINY, NOISY, COLD, SINGLE-BEDDED, SMALL SHOWERED, NO WINDOWED CABIN TO A DECK FIVE, LARGE, WINDOWED, LUXURY SHOWERED, DOUBLE BEDDED, COLD CABIN.

A DEFINITE IMPROVEMENT .. BUT STILL TOO COLD.

ON WITH THE SHOW - AFTER A LOVELY DAY AT SEA, TODAY WE ARE PARKED IN TRABZON. WE WILL NOT SPEND ANY TIME HERE AS THE TOUR IS INLAND TO THE SUMELA MONASTERY.

YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW THIS PLACE BY NAME BUT YOU WILL RECOGNISE IT, I THINK ...

THE BUS BRINGS US TO THE RESTAURANT / PEE STOP ,,, ANGELA POKES HER NOSE INTO THE TOILET JUST BEFORE GETTING TO THE RESTAURANT FOR A SECOND & POKES IT RIGHT OUT OF THERE.

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WE HAVE TO CHANGE TO SMALLER BUSSES BECAUSE WE ARE GOING UP NARROW ROADS TO THIS SPOT .... PERCHED ON THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN.

THIS VIEW IS FROM THE RESTAURANT ,, AND - YES, THAT IS WHERE WE ARE HEADING ...

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THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH SPACE IN THE SMALLER BUSES FOR ME SO THEY LAID ON A CAR. VERY NICE.

WE STOP HALFWAY UP THE HILL FOR PHOTOS ...

YOU MAY BE WONDERING A FEW THINGS AT THIS POINT ...

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THE BUSES DROP EVERYONE OFF AT A PARKING SPOT & WE START CLIMBING UP A PATH. QUITE STEEP & JUST DIRT, ROCKS & TREE ROOTS FOLLOWED BY SOME ACTUAL STEPS. LUCKILY THERE IS A RAIL BETWEEN US & THE DROP ...

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FINALLY WE REACH THE TICKET OFFICE & HAVE A BREAK TO CATCH OUR BREATH.

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AND - YES WE HAVE TO CLIMB THOSE STEPS & I BECOME PAINFULLY AWARE THAT WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN ...

NICE TREE ... PERHAPS I WILL STOP HERE AWHILE & WATCH IT GROW

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THESE PEOPLE SEEM TO HAVE THE RIGHT IDEA ..

I SEE ONE OF OUR GROUP HAS A PLASTER ON HER BROKEN LEG & CAN'T CHICKEN OUT NOW

A FRIENDLY GECKO. SOME OF MY FELLOW PASSENGERS MUST BE RELATED TO HIM - OR A MOUNTAIN GOAT.

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OH MY LORD! - HAVING CLIMBED TO THE TOP, WE NOW HAVE TO TAKE THE STEPS DOWN THE OTHER SIDE TO THE BUILDINGS BELOW..

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YOU CAN JUST MAKE OUT YOUNG LAYLA, HAVING A SNEAKY REST ...

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THE MONKS OF THE MONASTERY PAINTED THE WALLS & CEILINGS OF THE BUILDINGS CUT INTO THE HILLSIDE ....

I KNOW WHY. IN THANKS FOR NOT FALLING OFF THE MOUNTAIN. I KNOW JUST HOW THEY FEEL.

SHOULD HAVE BROUGHT MY PAINT BOX...

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A GOOD LOOK AROUND & LOOK UP TO SEE A MASS OF PEOPLE COMING DOWN. OR MAYBE STAYING UP THERE FOR THE VIEW.

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I MANAGED TO GET ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE RESTAURANT IN ON PIECE & A WELL DESERVED GLASS OF TEA.

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THIS PLACE IS AN ACROPOLIS BY ANOTHER NAME. I SHOILD HAVE GUESSED

MAN THAT WAS HARD WORK & A WONDER NO ONE WAS LEFT UP THERE. SOME OF THESE FOLKS HAVE WALKING STICKS. ONE HAS A CAST ON HER FOOT.

A CONSTANT WONDER TO ME ON THIS CRUISE HAS BEEN, HOW COME ALL THESE PEOPLE CAN BUILD SUCH AMAZING STRUCTURES IN SUCH AMAZING PLACES BUT THEY COULD NOT MAKE A DECENT PATH-WAY TO SAVE THEIR LIVES.

LITERALLY IN SOME CASES.

OH FOR A NICE DAY AT SEA ...

Posted by hasbeen 02:48 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

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