Turkey and home
17 November 2011
The rest of our trip went very well indeed. We returned to Marmaris with a night sail, and then hired a car and drove to Ephesus, then Pamukkale, both wonderful places to visit, and Heriopolis, a second metropolis of the ancient world. What a place Turkey is, to have so much history, so many mountains, and to be just so overwhelmingly big! There were two earthquakes while we were there, both 2000 miles to the east of us, so all we knew of them was on the news.
After taking the car back to Marmaris and the boat we had a farewell dinner in the restaurant at the marina with our great hosts, Steve and June, and got the airport taxi back to Dalaman, and flew to Istanbul.
We had two and a half days in Istanbul, nowhere near enough to see very much of this city of 15 million people. We visited the Blue Mosque, the Ayia Sophia, the Byzantine Cistern and Topkapi, fitting in a bus your of the city and a waterbus tour of the Bosphorus. Full-on tourism, starting early in the morning and going on all day.The Blue Mosque was very moving, I was there on the 20th anniversary of my Dad's death and it moved me to tears! The Ayia Sophia is described as a museum, so I was prepared to see the usual ranks of glass cases with musty exhibits. Not a bit of it, the building itself is the museum, with its history as a Christian church overlaid with its time as a mosque played out on its walls. Wall paintings concealed over centuries have now been partly revealed, and are amazing for their age.
Topkapi was an example of how power can enable a line of oligarchs to live the life of riley in hugely opulent style, based on a subclass of slaves, concubines etc. It has a wonderful view of the Bosphorus from the cafe, so we enjoyed a brief rest there over a coffee. I have taken to drinking Turkish coffee, in tiny cups, with sugar, to be sipped slowly and leaving a bed of sludge at the bottom of the cup!
Our final morning there was almost our final morning anywhere, as the driver of our airport taxi was a maniac who drove at over 100mph (170Kmh) along motorways, dodging precariously from lane to lane when other traffic would not yield, and accomplishing the jourmey we had been told would take one hour and a quarter in thirty-five minutes. I have rarely been that scared!
We collapsed into a cafe in the airport and took a couple of hours to recover!
But that was our farewell to Turkey, our plane took us to Stansted, where we waited patiently for the Glasgow flight some hours later.
The final stage of the journey was fine, in good weather and a moonlit night we drove back to Ardfern, stopping only in Arrochar for a fish supper on the way. Back home to Foxy the cat, and village life in the winter months!
Look out for the Turkey album in the gallery! Meantime here's a pic of Little Else going up the SOund of Mull in May!