September 24, 2011 GMT
Turkey 2

Hi ya folks --- Before I start the blog Colin didn’t think a lot of the photo that I posted of the Cisterne Bacillicus (the underground water storage area) – so here goes for some better ones – and of the huge carp that are resident!

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Well, we got out of Istanbul (Fri 23 Sept) – very carefully but safely – thanks to Collin! We had a great send off from the hotel – a group of about 20 Turks watched Colin pack up and then all wanted their photos taken with us! The manager came out also and there was waving and shouts of goodbye as we left!
We had waited for the rush hour to abate and hired a taxi to get us on to the right road – which the driver did the second time! First of all he took us to the Erdine turning which was where we had come from a few days earlier! Turning round was a game – but on the whole, the exit was much better than the arrival. Colin says that he will never, ever drive in Istanbul again. Even a Turkish girl said to us that it was mad to drive there! Istanbul is rather like Delhi – you need a haven to hole up in!

We drove over th Bosphurus Bridge and were offcally in Asia.

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Once you got out of Istanbul the motorway was reasonably quiet –we climbed up into the mountains and it started to rain – to be more precise – it teemed down and got cold at 8 degrees!! – What a change from 35 degrees. We were soaking wet despite all the gear. We called in at a motorway stop and it was a huge Outlet village – complete with the guy washing cars outside with a broom! Next stop we were given free tea – I think the guy thought we were mad to be on the road.

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We arrived at Safranbulu which is a World Heritage site and of the Ottoman period. All the houses are wood framed Ottoman style 16 and 17 century .The roads are stone block and very uneven and the hotel was also up a steep hill!! --- I baled out at the bottom and let Colin drive up. He really does pick and chose his places to stay that could be easier.

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The whole place is wonderful with markets and bazaars that are heaving with people. Everything much cheaper here, of course. Turkish Delight to die for- as are the macaroons. I think I’ll come back home as fat as a little pig! Stray cats are invariably in restaurants and then get shooed away – only to reappear in a couple of minutes. Smoking allowed everywhere.

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Hope you enjoy the piccies --- we've got a good IT connection where we are today Wed 28 and we are in Trabzon. I'll try and get the blog up to date later today or tomorrow. Cheers, Dee and Colin----- more to come !

Posted by Dee Masters at September 24, 2011 06:40 PM GMT

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