I know- I have not written yet about my recent charity trek to China- but I will get around to that.
Now- let me talk about my recent trip to Turkey ❤️❤️❤️❤️
My dad and I returned back from our trip to Turkey just over a week ago. We had the most amazing time, and I am glad to confirm that not speaking Turkish for over 10 years did not seem to have made a difference. I was speaking Turkish as if I had not left Turkey. I did however sometimes choose to pretend I understand nothing- in particular when a taxi driver was telling me that Hitler was his idol- hmmm….
After flying to Ankara with Pegasus Airlines- which was quite an experience, they mixed up the gates, the flight was packed and sitting in the plane I was doubting my ability to speak Turkish, as I did not understand a word anyone was saying. (I guess it is a bit like my German friends coming over to Newcastle and not understanding Geordie), we arrived at the new Esenboga airport.
Our time in Ankara was amazing, we met up with a lot of our old friends, and walking a long the Tunus Cadesi, my dad and I were greeted by the green grocer- 11 years later and they still remembered us :-)
I had arranged to celebrate my dad’s birthday at the Cafe de Cafe in Ankara, where we had spent so much time when we had lived in Turkey. By coincidence Cafe de Cafe was celebrating their 20th Anniversary on my dad’s birthday. They actually opened the year that we had moved to Turkey. The service offered to my dad from Cafe de Cafe was amazing.
My dad and I then moved on to Cappadokia were we met up with one of our dear friends, who owns a carpet shop in Goereme. Tourism has definitely increased in the last 10 years, and the horse drawn carts seem to have disappeared, replaced by tractors. I suppose I am being nostalgic. We stayed in one of the most amazing cave houses.
After Cappadocia, my dad and I drove on to Izmir, with a stop over in Afyon. Driving in Turkey is one thing that has not changed, people still drive like lunatics, a zebra crossing is merely an indication for pedestrians that they could cross the road, red lights are a suggestion to stop and indicating is optional, and only necessary if you intend to turn in the opposite direction that you indicated.
We arrived in Izmir with an amazing blue sky and temperatures of 20 degrees- for the beginning of November pretty good temperatures. In Izmir we met up with the Head Chef of the Swiss Hotel Izmir, and we stayed at his house in Urla. Being so close to the sea, being able to spend time walking along the sea side was amazing. We even visited a new Winery close by, you wouldn’t have known that you were in Turkey, it was amazing, you might have thought you were in France.
Instead of driving to Istanbul, my dad and I decided to take advantage of flying there with Pegasus airlines. With the government subsidizing the airlines, flying has become cheaper than taking the bus.
After landing in Sahiba Goekce it took over 1.5 hours to get to Kozyatagi, which is on the Asian side of Istanbul- traffic there is more manic than in Cairo!!
I was supposed to run the Istanbul Marathon, but unfortunately I had a cold and therefore decided not to run. Instead my dad and I spent a quiet day on one of the Princess Islands, it was lovely! Very serene and relaxing.
One thing is for sure- I am not going to let it be another 11 before I visit Turkey again!
I love Turkey- as some of my friends say, I am a Turk 🙃😄🤗