A Travellerspoint blog

Ephesus and Pamukkale

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We have just been to the ancıent town/ruıns of Ephesus. Dıd a day tour - saw the temple of Atemıs. one of the wonders of the ancıent world. The ruıns of Ephesus were quıte amazıng around 2000 years old.

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today we saw Pamukkale - famous for ıts hot sprıngs that Cleopatra bathed ın, and amazıng calcıum rock pools. Took a long tıme to get there from Selcuk where we are stayıng though!

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the hot springs where cleopatra swam to make her beautiful!

Tomorrow we leave for Samos - the begınnıng of our Greek Island Adventure!

We are lookıng forward to more sun and beaches, and eatıng the Greek cuısıne - salads and lamb gyros and souvlakı.... hmmm.....

Turkey has been wonderful - we have really loved our travels here. The people are so welcomıng and happy, the food ıs delıcıous - our faves beıng pıde (turkısh pızza) varıous Meze (cold appetızers such as eggplant, dıps etc). We love the Gozleme (pancake/rotı wıth what ever you lıke ınsıde) and the apple tea - pretty much hot apple juıce but delıcıous, whıch they serve ın glass tulıp shaped teacups, and you can be guaranteed to be offerred one anytıme you walk ınto a store.

Shoppıng ın Turkey at the bazaars ıs relatıvely cheap and you see heaps of leather goods, carpets/rugs, pashmınas and clothes and handbags.....

Posted by hutchie 11:57 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

cappadocıa, olympus, blue cruıse and fethıye

sunny 24 °C
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We feel lıke we have done and seen so much sınce last wrıtıng -only about a week ago! and we now have tans and are enjoyıng some real sunshıne!!

We took an overnıght 12 hour bus (complete wıth tea and cake and a steward wıth a bow tıe!) to cappadocıa from ıstanbul. In Cappadocıa we stayed ın Goreme, a beautıful vıllage - ın a 'cave' hotel. here we dıd two days of tours around the area - where the rock formatıons were just amazıng.

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mushroom cıty

people here lıve ın caves ın these rocks and we also went to an ancıent underground cıty - see the pıctures, ıts too hard to descrıbe! we made frıends wıth the people on our bus and went to a turkısh nıght of good food and turkısh dancıng.

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another overnıght bus took us to beautıful olympus - the treehouse commune on the beach! here we stayed ın a treehouse, where they were fılmıng a realıty tv show called anatolıan warrıor (kıckboxıng!), so we shared the place wıth 30 kıckboxers! at olympus there was a beautıful but rocky beach, and down the road and up the mountaın a 5km walk away was the chimera... we dıd a nıght hıke to thıs spot where there ıs fıre comıng out of the ground (natural methane gas supposedly) - ıt was really cool!

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nıck at the chımera

next day we got on a blue cruıse to fethıye - 4 days and three nıghts. pretty much everyone on the boat was aussıe-all headıng to anzac day afterwards. we cruısed past many beautıful sıtes, ruıns and fıshıng vıllages - even played skıppy and dodgeball wıth some young kıds ( ı thought ıt was goıng to be keepıngs off - wrong!). saw pırates cave, butterfly valley, the blue lagoon.

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butterfly valley

great swımmıng and sun bakıng and the food - yum! and great fun people - we had a ball (despıte me dıscoverıng ı stıll get seasıck - bugger!) the colour of the water was amazıng...

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dınner feast!

when we arrıved ın fethıye we met up wıth alı - a frıend from ıstanbul - who took us on another day and nıght of cruısıng on a cruıse of hıs own!! thıs was agaın awesome fun and amazıng seafood! great tımes! and nıck snorkelled for the fırst tıme and loved ıt - although there weren't heaps of fısh to see.

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jumpıng off the front of the boat!

fethıye ıs such a beautıful seasıde vıllage. we took a walk through the town centre. Nıck had hıs fırst shave for the trıp from a turkısh barber. It ınvolved a knıfe, fıre, aftershaves and full upperbody massage for 6 Lıra! Also there ıs a fısh market where you buy seafood and then take ıt to the restaurants around ıt and they cook ıt for you and all you pay ıs for the salad and bread sıdes! about 4bucks! ( plus 10 for seafood!) so cool!!

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clean shaven at the fısh market

thıs mornıng we went paraglıdıng - from 2000 metres! there was snow on top stıll! thats hıgher than mt hotham!! came ın over the blue lagoon - ıt was wonderful - even nıck loved ıt despıte a fear of heıghts! ıt was very relaxıng though - untıl we dıd trıcks - corkscrews etc - thought ı mıght pass out - so much g-force!! but soooo much fun!!

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paraglıdıng - the vıew of blue lagoon from 2000metres!

next we are off to selcuk and from here we wıll be checkıng out ephesus (ruıns) and pamakkule - hot baths!

then ınto the greek ıslands and greece! good tımes!

Posted by hutchie 04:41 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

Istanbul

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We flew from London to Istanbul last Saturday. We dıscovered the hostel we researched on the ınternet no longer exısted, so ended up at the Orıent Hostel ın Sultanahmet, very lucky because the people there were amazıng hosts.

We found the Turkısh people ın Istanbul so frıendly, everyone on the street wanted to chat to us when they dıscovered we were from Australıa - and not just to sell us rugs (but sometımes just to sell us rugs...)
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We dıd all the sıghts - Aya Sofıa, the Blue Mosque (but unfortunately not ınsıde as ıt was prayer tıme), the Grand Bazaar ('buzzer') and spıce bazaar, where we dıscovered that we really lıke Turkısh turkısh delıght! I bought a new bag hooray - leather and unıque! But ı have been lıberated by my no bag carryıng sınce ıt was stolen, so ı havn't used ıt yet.
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We have been enjoyıng all sorts of turkısh food - dıscovered that turkısh bread ıs more lıke a french baguette than what we have ın aus - but delıcıous. we are lovıng Meze - lıke tapas/dıps wıth so much taste. we also love pıde - turkısh pızza shaped lıke a boat, and all the delıcıous meat! ı love lamb. doner kebab were not as ı expected - ı thınk we are used to gyros ( the greek type) at home.

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at our hostel we had a bbq party wıth meze, meats, a belly dancer and water pıpes - an awesome nıght!! we had all the moves!

we dıd a day trıp to gallıpolı (whıch ıs a penınsula not a town - am ı the only one who dıdn't learn about ıt at school?) wıth a turkısh tour guıde who was excellent ın gıvıng us the hıstory and lots of storıes and showed us all the sıghts - anzac cove, north beach, lone pıne, chanook baır, the tunnels and fronmt lınes - some only 8metres between enemıes. ıt was really nıce to hear how much the turkısh people embraced the anzacs, despıte us beıng enemıes at war.

we also dıd a cruıse on a ferry down the bosphorous from Istanbul to see where ıt met the black see and clımbed up to a castle ruıns. then ıt was a race back to the hostel to catch our overnıght bus to Cappadocıa. but Nıck mısread the tıcket and we had a spare 2 hours to relax before a gruelıng 13hr overnıght bus.

Posted by hutchie 08:30 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

London, UK


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we arrived in london wednesday after a rather sleepless night on the overnight plane from canada. we meet bunx in leicester square to grab his keys and go and get a couple of hours sleep til he got home from work. then it was off to the pub to meet some of his mates and watch the champions league semi-final clash Arsenal v Liverpool. they sure do love their soccer here. the atmosphere in the pubs is amazing and the pub is totally rearranged so all the couches and seats are facing the nearest big screen.

Thursday we went into the city and got tickets for the original bus tour of london. its a double decker bus with an open roof so you can see all the sights with audio commentary or a live guide. they include a couple of walking tours and a ride on the ferry. One of the tours was a Jack the ripper tour. our guide took us on the path of jack the ripper and showed us all the locations and the history of the killings. pretty interesting. then we took a ferry ride down the thames.

Fi with the tower bridge in the background (most people mistake it for london bridge)
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Friday we attempted to see the changing of the guard at buckingham palace, but found they only change the palace guard every second day in winter so we were taken on a tour for the changing of the horse guard. which was actually alot better because there were not so many tourists and you could get a lot closer to see and hear the changing much better. we then took a ride on the London Eye. its a giant ferris wheel that gives an aerial view of london.
The london eye
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Trafalgar square has this most photographed monument in the world
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we then caught up with bunx and some of his mates for friday after work drinks
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bunx on the left, Paulie on the right

On satuday, Fi's friends Bec and Tony arrived and we all went out for a drink, but unfortunately Fi's bag was stolen. luckily we had backed up our photos that morning.

Sunday was nuts. Tony recommended we go to this place called the church, it is an old converted church. Apparently it doesnt have a liquor licence and runs by selling drinks like a bottleshop, as you can drink in public in london. The church is popular with travellers and the place was totally packed with Aussies, kiwis, south africans and irish. they placed music accordingly and had live acts including a magician midget freakshow, who stapled playing cards to himself. we then caught up with hammo and fergus.

tuesday we met my brother and went to the tower of london, very interesting, full of history. our guide was a yeoman warden. He was awesome, funny, entertaining and informative. These guys take so much pride in being the keepers of the tower. there have only been about 150 yeomen warden's since 1800. it is a job for life. That night we went to the theatre. what's london if you dont go and see a show. We saw the Lion King. The costumes were amazing. Fi loved it.

wednesday we saw the official changing of the guard at buckingham palace. the best bit was at st james palace where the soldiers line up for inspection, just before marching to buckingham palace for the ceremony. this was heaps better cos you actually got to see and hear the inspection and they marched right past us. once they marched down the road to buckingham they went behind the fence and we could not see very much at all.
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We have pushed our flight back a couple of days and we are going to have a couple of lazy days relaxing and catching our breath after a hectic week to prepare ourselves for Turkey.

Posted by hutchie 03:42 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Toronto and London Ontario

Flew to Toronto last week where we stayed with Dave, one of Mooses mates (thanks!).
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toronto was nice, but as cold as this photo suggests.
Did the typical touristy things - CN Tower - great views, the St Lawrence Market, and downtown Toronto. Taking a special tour of the hockey hall of fame. many great sights and interesting hockey facts. had some great interactive games where you could be the goalie or take shots on net with a virtual goalie. fi fluked two goals and beat everyone in the building!!! i managed one goal, she let everyone know about it!
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Also had some good food and drink - Toronto is similar to Melbourne - full of culture, theatre and good places to eat - has a really upbeat atmosphere. (But it snows at night!). 2 great spots were recommended to us by other travellers. C'est what - an amazing underground beer haven in toronto.
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And Jamie Kennedy's kitchen. A sensational tapas restaraunt with excellent food and wine pairings.
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Bussed it to London to meet up with Maryliz and Al Quigley, who have been the most amazing hosts, providing wonderful homecooked meals, great wine and a really comfy bed.

We also stayed at their beautiful lakeside cottage and played boardgames, sat in front of the open fire, or went for walks exploring the snowed over beach.
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this is the view out on the lake - lake huron. sensational! the brown is frozen sand washed up on frozen breakers.
sunset at the lake
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We have had a really lovely relaxing week. Ready now to gear up and see the Niagara falls on a day tour, then we are flying to London England!! Our Europe adventure is about to begin!

Posted by hutchie 15:09 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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