Spur of the moment trips are my best. I am a travel agents’ dream.
I inquire and before they can ask “would you like insurance with the quote?”, I am in the aisle seat and we are making our merry way to x-destination. It is not as spontaneous and perhaps “reckless” as it might sound. I have a long list of places I would like to visit. It pretty much starts at the front of the Atlas and goes all the way to the back, including the cover and that full page spread in last weeks’ Travel insert in the weekend newspaper. It excludes Russia. I am not sure how I feel about travelling to Russia.
Anyway. The lead time to a 3 000km roadtrip in Turkey was about 3 weeks (Thank you Flight Centre special and weekly emails). I cunningly convinced my husband it was the next best thing to Morocco (the trip I was actually trying to plan but flights just did not look affordable for a long time) and off we went!
An Airbnb stay covered the first few days in Istanbul, and then a “make it happen as it happens” for the rest of the journey. We had an almost broken down rental, a Garmin, a mix of tunes on the iPhone and a boot full of gear. I booked a camping site for JoSiTo before we left South Africa as I knew it was getting to climbing season and we really wanted to enjoy the vibe of this well-known climbers heaven. The rest of the trip was ‘Ce sera’.
Below follows a story in pictures of the trip.
A few questions answered:
Our highlights of Istanbul?
- Hands down the Photography Museum we walked pass on the last night. We visited the Blue Mosque after dark and noticed this museum on the way back to the hotel. A little hidden. They were already closed, so I made Christo go back with me the next day before heading out to the airport. It only opened in 2011 but hosts work in original black and white prints. A must do for any photographer at heart. (find it: Beyazıt Mh., Kadırga Liman Cad. No:60, Fatih/İstanbul)
- We visited and walked pass the Rainbow stairs everyday and had coffee and breakfast at the coffee shop next door
- The Bosphorus ferry ride between Europe and Asia
- The old buildings, hills, cobble stone streets and markets
- The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) at night
“Can’t look” experience:
Our travel budgets’ Bermuda triangle: Kaleici, Antalya
The “not sure how I feel about that” experience:
The Turkish bath incident in above mentioned Kaleici.
Our 4 days home stay with a friends’ family. We didn’t know he lives in Turkey! We stayed on a small farm on the coast, helped work on a boat renovation in a small harbour, walked and saw ruins not open to the public, ate olives and best of all this was with a trailblazer of a Turkish lady and National Geographic featured personality.
“Want to go climbing?”:
The “YOU ARE CRAZY” experience:
Swimming at sunset – the day and water was cold. But swim I will!
“Oh no we couldn’t fit that in” experience:
Hot air balloon. I do not have many regrets but this might, might just be one. Next time.
Overall highlights of the trip:
- Kilometers and kilometers and kilometers in the car
- Farm life along the coast
- Street dogs and cats being taken care of by EVERYONE
- Small, hidden harbours filled with yachts
Best guides for research and reference:
With any luck I will be able to recover the rest of the photos and I can share TURKEY (part 2) sometime soon.