Monthly Archives: October 2011

Rocks, ruins and rust

I’ve just covered over 3,900km of Turkish roads – and my backside felt every one of them!

Not only that, but it was freezing to boot…

We started in Istanbul – I once said it was my favourite city in the world, but having experienced the mayhem of the wider conurbation I must amend that to ‘my favourite historic centre of any city’.

Turkey really is an amazing country – there is just so much Biblical myth and history that happened there, as well as huge swathes of ancient Greek followed by Roman and Ottoman history. Some of the sites we visited dated back to 5000 BC.

Two things I was really looking forward to – and turned out to be huge disappontments – were the hot air balloon flight over Cappadocia, which went far too high for us to see and appreciate the amazing rock formation, and scuba diving at Kas, supposedly one of the best dive sites in Turkey. I saw more sea life under Swanage Pier!

Cappadocia from the air

Cappadocia from the ground

Like our trip to Vietnam we went with Explore because they have really, really knowledgeable – and charming – tour leaders. On this trip we had a young man called Firat, who was one of the best Archaeology Professors I’ve ever had.

Here he is explaining that most of Pergamon is now in the Berlin museum to some very cold students…

The historic sites were fascinating, andĀ  the natural ones – such as Pamukkale were equally astoiunding.

One of my favourite sites was Ephesus – where these amazing Roman villas were on show

My next favourite was probably the ancient city of Troy – much more of an archaelogical dig than a museum exhibit.

And to stick to the blog theme of movie vehicles… here is the horse used in the movie ‘Troy’

And now for the rust…

No holiday would be complete without a bit of old car spotting:

This was Kamal Ataturk’s magnificent Cadillac.

Turkey was awash with these – Renaults made under licence by Dacia.

Turkish tuk-tuk

Poor old Pug 504

No idea what this is, but I wanted theĀ house AND the car…

An old Dolmus bus.

Another common sight, a locally made Fiat called a Murat.

This Chevvy Nova was only one of a number of old Americana I saw, but wasn’t quick enough with the camera.

Travellers in arms

We have been very lucky in the past with our travelling companions, and this trip was no exception. We had a group of Jolly Canadians and a fiesty Irish lass who kept us all in stitches. And Rhiannon has a rival for the Lara Croft look-alike competition.

Ashley as Lara Croft….

Time to travel…again.

Getting the new company up and running AND pulling together a new All Party Group is taking its toll… I need a holiday! (and a haircut)

Saturday morning we’re off to Turkey for the half term. This time next week we’ll be floating over Cappadoccia in a hot air balloon – I’ve been collecting the fuel in Westminster.

Mrs Bond, I presume

Today I did something I’ve never done before. I went to a Geek fest to get Dame Diana Rigg to sign my first edition of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

The trouble started when I was identified as being from another planet….

I was arrested…

…and summarily executed!

…..I got better……

Mazdas are stronger than Fords

Poor Stephanie. Her little car came off second best when a Mazda MX-5 ran away from its driver and rolled backwards into it.

Hardly a mark on the Mazda.

Now we have three cars that all need mending. Damn, damn, damn…