Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday - Sunday May 30 - 31

On Sundays ride, City build 300 BC.

Finnish restaurant.
Finnish Store.

Had dinner at a restaurant in the new town owned and operated by Finns everyone in there
was Finnish, were told 1 - 3 planes a day come in from Finland and they all stay in the Hotels near the city center.

Town of Lindos.

Rented a car for Sunday to drive around and explore the Island, which toke us about 7 hours. It was a very hot day don in Lindos at least 90 degrees, but a beautiful harbor town.
Stopped by some historic sites but after Turkey the items in Rhodes are very lame.
Lunch break on Sunday on the ride around the island.

Meeting and seeing more Finns and Germans, some on their own hopping the islands others on cruise ships. It is very warm here (80s) and sunny, no clouds. Went on bus trip (30 minutes) to an old town 10 km away from Rhodes, not much to see but a change.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Rhodes

Coffe break at Starbucks!
Yes, I believe they are German! Look close.
The beach!

Rhodes Greece Friday May 29

Pictures from Rhodes - The Old Town


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Greece Rhodes May 28 - 29

Friday May 29
After a good breakfast went exploring the Medieval Town (from the 1300s) together with a few thousand cruise ship visitors. Had 3 ships n town today, European ships so a lot of Italian, German and French.

First evening out Thursday - German spoken here! Not many Germans left in Germany they are all here and drinking German beer.
Not us, we went to a nice place next to our hotel and had a great meal outside on the terrace with the local beer.
Met two Finns that own a house on a neighbor island and are for two nights in our hotel in town.
Will explore the old town today - many (too many) restaurants and shops. Prices are about double here (The EURO!) from Istanbul but if you stay away from the restaurants with the "Greeters" that try to get you in you are OK. 30 Euros for our dinner with 3 beers last night.

Arrived in Rhodes, Greece this afternoon Thursday May 28.
Staying in the Old Town at the Domos Hotel
It is very warm here, in the high 80s.
Had two flights, one from Istanbul to Athens then a 5 hour layover and with Olympic Airlines to Rhodes (1 hour flight).
Hotel is in a great location, right in the middle of the Old Town.
Room is small (as expected) but has great air conditioning and a window to open, shower and a computer with free Internet access.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Istanbul the final days

Streets around our hotel.

Fun with the group.

Final Istanbul Pictures.
Wild cats.

Backgammon - everywhere.


Turkey Observatıons (very general) Updated 6/3/09

Our trip observations Western Turkey only!

  • Istanbul has 12 million inhabitants (and about 20m. Satellite dishes)
  • The city ıs stretched out, we drove 40+ minutes and were still in Istanbul
  • Streets - are VERY CLEAN
  • Ruins - lots of history in Turkey
  • Greek and Roman ruins and history in Turkey, Turkey was once the eastern Roman capital.
  • Turkish history starts with Ottoman Empire, they were on the steps of Wiena, Austria.
  • Turkish build Trading / Rest stops along the Silk Road, Sultans.
  • Cars - many in the cities not too many in the country sides
  • Houses look good ın the country side (some old mud and metal huts)
  • People friendly but also reserved
  • Service - good but also not many smiles when being served
  • Restaurants - clean prices are very reasonable
  • Buses - network of buses across country
  • Railroad - almost non existing
  • Muslims - according to our guide 90% of country but only 15% strict
  • Muslims - in the country side many cover head in the cities less and sometimes very modern clothing with head cover
  • Tram system - in Istanbul very nice and clean
  • Streets - very good 2, 4, 6 lanes and excellent condition. In country side some dirt roads.
  • Sidewalks - good (100% improvement over Buenos Aires)
  • Farmland - lots of (in Western Turkey) flat and small farmers growing corn, fıgs, oranges, olives, nuts. Also tomato's and other vegetables. some areas bananas.
  • Mountains and valleys - along the coast
  • Tea - very good
  • Coffee - Turkish coffee something special not for every day. Many places have Nescafe!
  • Starbucks - yes in city and nice to visit for a change
  • Cost - can have dinner for two for US Dollar 20 and of course more
  • Women - in cities very modern and pretty dressed like any place ın Europe. But once over 40 you don't see many outside or they look OLD and ???.
  • Restaurants - mostly young people up to 40 years or older business men.
  • Women sit outside ın Restaurants and drink Beer or other drinks - in cities.
  • Raki - national drink like Pernot.
  • Beer - one local beer only, Efes pretty good like Corona? About $3 for pint
  • Turkey the country - a lot of history Greek and Roman until Ottoman empire.
  • Tourist - most from Germany and France
  • Begging - some (very little) on the streets
  • Street vendors - many, some food on official looking carts, some small stuff on ground
  • Cats - many, running around wild but healthy looking
  • Smoking - YES everybody does it
  • Water - no one drinks from faucet only bottles (30 cents .5 liter)
  • National Flower - Satellite Dish, every apartment has one or two in the window or on balcony
  • Slums - some on outside of city, not too bad looking (on bus ride)
  • Carton collectors - many on streets collect paper and cardboard ın large carts (like Buenos Aıres)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Istanbul May 25

Back in Istanbul and happy - visited Topkapi and the Grand Bazaar Today/ The group is getting readay for departure early tomorrow morning. We stay two more days and then to Rhodes Greece.
Grand Bazaar Istanbul.

Topkapi Monday.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23 Izmır to Pergamum/Canakkale

Trıp from Izmır to Pergamum/Canakkale.
We drove to Pergamum, a powerful kingdom during the ancient Hellenistic period, and visit the Acropolis, an impressive structure that houses the Temple of Trajan, the Heroon Shrine, the Sanctuary of Athena and the Altar of Zeus. We also viewed the Theater and the Library of Pergamum, whose collection came second only to that of Egypt's Alexandria. After thıs we arrived in Canakkale for a one nıght stay. See Pıctures from our hotel and Seıja havıng fun wıth locals.

In Canakkale

In Canakkale

Our group ın Pergamum.

Theater in Pergamum

Pergamum Lıbrary.

Lunch break on the way to Pergamum.

Hotel Vıew.

Someone ın our group.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Izmir - Ephesus trip May 22

Tomorrow - May 23 - trıp from Izmır to Pergamum/Canakkale.
We wıll drive to Pergamum, a powerful kingdom during the ancient Hellenistic period, and visit the Acropolis, an impressive structure that houses the Temple of Trajan, the Heroon Shrine, the Sanctuary of Athena and the Altar of Zeus. We wıll also view the Theater and the Library of Pergamum, whose collection came second only to that of Egypt's Alexandria. After this we arrive in Canakkale for a one night stay.

May 22 - Ephesus Excursion by bus from.
Today we ventured to explore Ephesus considered to be the world’s best-preserved classical city and famous throughout history for its Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
Ephesus was undoubtedly one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world and among its impressive structures ıs the Library of Celcus, Temple of Hadrian, the Great Theater and the Odeon. We also visited the House of Virgin Mary, a shrine said to be the final home of the Virgin Mary near Ephesus.

Our group is large, 45 people but it is no problem we all get along.
The Guide ıs very good and has a detailed knowledge of hıstory from BC until today anything about Roman, Greek, Ottoman or anything Turkısh he knows with detailed dates and names.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Antalya Perge 300 BC

May 20 Afternoon - back from excursıon and ready to jump in the water and enjoy the Hotel.
Tomorrow a day of drıvıng wıth a stop to Pamukkale/Izmir.
Journey to Pamukkale and visit the Necropolis and the ancient city of Hieropolis ("Holy City"), situated atop the Pamukkale hot springs. These hot springs have served as a thermal bath since the 2nd century B.C. Later, arrive in Izmir, believed to be the birthplace of Homer.

Antalya -- Seaside resort hotel enjoys a choice location overlooking Turkey's fabled Turquoise Coast. Tour to ancient Perge, the most attractive and well-preserved Pamphylian city that reached its apex during the reign of Alexander the Great. Continued to Aspendos, founded by the colonists from Argos and best known for its huge theater as well as the stadium and a fountain. Visited the Antalya’s Archaeological Museum that houses artifacts and antiques from 2500 years of Anatolian culture.

In Perge cıty build 300 BC

Cappadocıa and Antalya Hotel

Cappadocia/Konya/Antalya. ---

This morning visited the 13th century Caravanserai of Agzikarahan (Caravan Palace), a complex of structures built on the Silk Road, whose main portal gate is considered a fine example of Turkish Seljuk art. During the Seljuk period, trade flourished, requiring roads for caravan transport and inns for the traveling traders and their camels. Continued journey by road via Konya, passing through lush forests, orchards and olive groves on the sloping hills downward to the splendid Mediterrannean Sea.

Meınhard on Room Balcony

Our Room in Antalya

Cappadocia rock formatıons

Carpet Factury

Cappadocia landscape

Cappadocia. --- On today’s excursion, visited the Open Air Museum in the Goreme Valley to view early Christian churches decorated with beautiful frescoes depicting various scenes from the Bible. You’ll also visit the Kaymakli Underground City, which was hollowed out of volcanic rock and extends seven to nine floors deep into the earth. It is made up of a maze of corridors, chambers, storehouses, kitchens and churches. Visit the village of Avanos, famous for its beautiful old houses as well as pottery and onyx workshops.

visit the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic.