A Travellerspoint blog

Big city and basketball

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Well here we are in Izmir for three nights to watch the tall blacks play in the Basketball World Cup. Izmir is a 1 1/2 hour drive from Ciftlikkoy so we decided about the right length of time to try out our 1st bus trip. It would be fare to say we've been a bit chicken up until now - worried about inflicting our children on the rest of the bus. Bus travel is very popular in Turkey with many long overnight 12 hour trips. It is economical but we have been worried as to how the kids would manage, however yesterday's trip went really well. The buses are more roomy than a plane and all went very smoothly including pulling up in a taxi to the bus station (Otogar) as the bus was backing out so on we jumped grateful of avoiding a wait for the next one. Supposedly they leave every 20 minutes but "Turkey time" is a funny thing and sometimes what is meant to happen doesn't.

Air conditioning is a bit of an afterthought in most buildings
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We checked into our hotel - the first one we have stayed in. Always good at check in when they say with limited English "Ah there is a problem with your room" We had booked a family room which is two bedrooms however they only had available two separate rooms for the first night. So it was Matt, Holly and Toby in the 3 single beds in one room and Bellie and I next door. Next challenge - no cot despite us emailing and confirming they had one prior to booking. Their answer "just put her in the single bed". No not about to introduce that on holiday - can well imagine a night of Bellie getting up and down. "No problem we'll sort it" they said. Next minute there is a knock on the door and a man bringing in an arm chair. "That's okay" I said, "We probably don't have room for a chair in here" "No this is the cot" he replied. The plan being they were going to put the two armchairs front to front and she could sleep in the middle. "No thanks not safe" was my reply. Next suggestion was they bring in 6 dining chairs and put them either side of the single bed, again a decline from me. Finally after more discussion they went and borrowed one from another hotel. I did laugh when it was wheeled in. Matt's description is a "Russian hospital bed for midgets" it was Iron and the sides are only about 30 cm's above the mattress. Each cot we get in Turkey is slightly worse than the last and each time I think she'll climb out of this for sure. But dear sweet Bellie just seems to think well this is my bed and I am in my sleeping bag so I'll go to sleep. Other than that the hotel was great, newly renovated, clean and most importantly has air conditioning.

Watson Family off to the Basketball
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So off to the basketball in what little NZ gear we had - gonna hand over to Matt for this bit as it is his thing.
We started by hailing a taxi and me showing him my ticket to the basketball with the areas name. It is Halikinpinnar Area where all the World Championship Basketball games in Izmir are held and he had no idea where it was - good start. After asking another taxi driver off we went. We all had our NZ T shirts on and silver fern wrist and head bands and of course - our NZ Flag. We got there and saw 20 odd NZ fans who gave us a wave, and an army of green Lithuanian supporters - they were in there 100s and loud. We got to our seats just before the start of the game after the diabolical process of checking in. Three men scanning the tickets of everyone coming in the arena which holds 10 000 and after the tickets are checked we proceeded through a body scanner. I did love the sign at check in which tells you what you can't bring in drinks, food, cameras and oh yes - hand guns! Good to know I guess.

The Tall Blacks littlest supporter
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The game itself was OK but the best part was the Lithuanian supporters - they were fantastic. With their big drums which when played in unison and echoed around the arena getting the kids pretty excited. Bella was the most animated, clapping and dancing each time they started up their chants. It was bloody loud but not loud enough for sports mad Toby - he fell asleep in the 3rd quarter! All in all it was a cool experience going to the game with all 5 of us but I was glad it was only for 1 game.

The Lithuanian supporters
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Half time Russian entertainers (that's Rach on the right)
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Matt and Holly (I was busy holding Toby's head up)
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Game 2 was a late start at 9pm so after helping Rach get the kids off to bed I went off to the arena dressed in my NZ Shirt with the flag as a cape and my beloved head and wrist bands - talk about looking "wicked cool". When you buy your tickets it is for the days play and not just for 1 game so I saw the end of the Lebanon v France game as well. I think its crazy selling a days worth of basketball as nearly all of the countries supporters leave when their team finishes. You can't buy beer so all the "Boys" who want to have a few, head to the bars leaving only hundreds watching the games in an empty stadium. I arrived and was greeted by a dozen NZ lads in white singlets "half cut" trying to smuggle in booze. Nice try but when the security has guns maybe not worth the risk. Anyway they called me over and asked where my kids were! I Explained it was too late at night for them and I was here solo - they invited me to join them which I said I would but would head in now to watch the other game. When I was at the check in gate another bunch of Kiwis started yelling out "Stop Kiwi Stop". I looked around and 3 girls and 1 guy asked me where my family was - again! It turned out to be Kirk Penny's girlfriend/?wife and his cousin - they also invited me to sit with them. It was nice to be invited so in the end we all stood together in one big group along with 2 kiwis I had bumped into in the supermarket that afternoon. The game was cool and singing and cheering on the Tall Blacks in a big group was fun. Even though we got beaten pretty bad the Kiwis played quite well but were outclassed especially by Ricci Rubio - he is one classy player. Maybe even better than Murray Clarke!

Kirk Penny's wife back left and cousin back right
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After the game the 2 Kiwis I had met in the supermarket and I headed back to Basmane area of Izmir where we all were staying and ended up having a few pints in the beer garden of our hotel until 1ish. It was a fun night and I really enjoyed going to the games even though we lost them both. You can't beat singing Dave Dobbyn's 'Slice of Heaven', dressed up in your NZ gear watching any Kiwi team play. Doesn't matter what it is or where you are. Let me know if you've got a tear in your eye right now because I have.
Anyway back to the Boss with the rest of her insightful tales of our journey. Cheers Matt

On return from the basketball it was tea and then showers for 3 tired kids after a big day. Then there was the fun part rather than go to bed at 7.30pm in separate rooms Matt and I sat outside in the foyer so we could keep an eye on the kids and still chat. Funny part is it was stinking hot as there was no air conditioning and the foyer lights were motion activated and stayed on for 10 seconds if you wanted to keep them on you had to stand up every 10 secs - and that only made you hotter. Oh we laughed - only on holiday. Dorset Street is going to seem really big when we return either that or we'll have to invite another 4 families to move in.

Izmir was hot again and without a pool we took refuge in our air conditioned room frequently. We manage pretty well in a very small space these days and mostly everyone stays sane. We wandered around the city and checked out the bazaar where the kids bought some more cheap toys and Matt and I some cheap clothing. The highlight of Izmir for the kids was the International fair which was a 5 min walk from the hotel so we ended up going twice. It was like an enormous "home show" with everything from water filters to trucks and buses on display. As well as that was a section of amusement rides. The kids had a ball at 3 lira a ticket and 1 ticket for 3 of us to ride. (the other looked after Bellie). We rode on a kids roller coaster (which was pretty fast), a huge ferris wheel (and two kids with no fear of heights and the haunted house which they insisted we go on. At the end of the day each of them got to choose a blow up toy Holly picked "Hello Kitty", Toby "Spiderman" and then wished he had "Ben 10" and moaned for a very long time, and Miss B picked the "Strawberry Shortcake" cat. We have the funniest video of her trying to ride her cat I will attempt to upload it to this entry when we have a better internet connection. (we are 'borrowing' one from a neighbour here at the moment)

Here's the video - hope it works

The Ferris wheel
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The Merry-go-round
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Throw the ring and win a packet of cigarettes (go the heart foundation!)
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The prized blow up toys
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So that's it from Izmir and now we are back out a the coast in Cesme. We have a villa with a pool which is lovely so are likely to have a quiet week before moving on - only 4 weeks today till we come home.

Posted by Watson5 04:13 Comments (7)

Sun, Sea and Sand

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Well from Selcuk we made a short by our standards 1 1/2 hour trip out to the coast and are staying in Ciftlikkoy a small fishing village on the Agean Coast with a view of Chios a Greek Island which is a mere 7 km away though a rather expensive $70 pp boat trip.

They seem to like cows in Cesme - so Holly's happy
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The town has a nice feel to it and we have a house which is about a 3 minute walk into the village - handy when you don’t have a car. The house is nice the landlord a little "involved‘. On our arrival we got a full 30 mins of does and don‘t as well as a folder full of accompanying instructions what to do if you squash a mosquito on the wall and it leaves a mark and a reminder to take care with the kitchen knives as they take no responsibility should you cut yourself. Anyway it's clean and comfortable and most importantly has air conditioning. However we are finding that we are not needing to use it so much here as the temp is down to a pleasant 35 degrees and there is a relatively strong 'see breeze' most days - the first day the kids were unable to stand up down at the waterfront. Funny how we have become acclimatised - we were running the air conditioning overnight at 18 degrees, that has now crept up to 25 degrees with Matt still finding it too cold with Bella and I and so moving into the next room. Not sure how we’ll survive at home - we'll probably be the only family in Richmond running our fire all summer.

Ciftlikkoy Village
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Sunrise over the fishing boats
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Ciftlikkoy is part of the Cesme peninsula and there are 4 or five different beaches to choose from. Our favourite is Altinkum which is a short 10 trip in the Dolmus (like small buses) costing 2.5 Lira per adult, kids are free. So this week is about chilling at the beach. The kids are enjoying themselves, Toby and Bella are less keen on the salty water and sand but each day are enjoying it a little more. Toby is as brown as and looks like the real surfy dude. We have always joked that he would one day work as a surf instructor In Bali but after the first windy day at the beach we were having to revise our thoughts and picture him teaching surfing indoor at a wave pool. The beach is stunning and as usual we are almost the first there - our tendency is to go about 9am and head home at 1pm for Bellie to have a sleep and to get out of the hottest part of the day. lt seems that the beaches here don't start to up until after 2pm. We have met a couple of lovely families from Istanbul at the beach, we've enjoyed chatting to people who speak relatively good english and the kids have enjoyed playing with other kids “with toys" as opposed to the couple of empty water bottles we gave them to play with (and they had a lot of fun I might add)

The Dolmus
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Antinkum Beach
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Where did that wave come from Holly?
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Sand Angels?
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Tob looking buff
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Bellie you have a bit of sand on your face
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Where's Holly?
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There are some great ideas NZ could use from here - for example, the village has a small one way loop road and it is set up with these road spike things that go down when you drive the correct way round. Should you make a mistake however you ruin a couple of tyres - I have seen the results of that once since we arrived - very definitive! Last night we had a beautiful fresh meal - fun as we got to choose our fish and after some discussion it was taken away to be prepared for us. Not a cheap meal at $47 a kg but beautiful and scoffed down by the three little Watson’s leaving very little for Mum and Dad - ahh the sacrifices you make for love!

Selecting a fish for dinner - Toby said - “we should bring Poppa he’d like it here"
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We are heading to Izmir for the weekend to watch NZ play Lithuania in the world basketball champs. As you can imagine Matt is very excited and reckons we’re bound to get on TV as there will be few NZ supporters and we’ll be dressed in our NZ gear. I’m thinking we might too but only because Bellie decides she’s had a “guts full” and runs onto the court mid game. Sad to report one of her front teeth is starting to turn grey - and it is the one that was whole still - damn! lucky she’s cute. Her vocab is coming along at a rate she had us all in hysterics the other day when she passed some wind and then announced “bubbles”.

From Ismir it’s back out this way to Cesme for a week another nice town to explore. The biggest hassle is carting all our luggage round even though we only have two bags one of them is pretty much full of warm clothes that we don’t touch but need to wear home. Oh, and my running gear - not sure what the hell I was thinking - walking is as much as I can manage in this heat!

Forgot to mention Molly’s first squat toilet experience the other day. There was the intrigue of why they had “cut off the toilets” and then the exclamation when she discovered her stream was not direct-able and the fits of giggles at trying to keep her shoes dry and me clinging to her to prevent any slipping down the hole mishaps.

Holly and Toby are enjoying each others company, not that they have much choice really but they are good little friends and Holly tries to Mother Tob through the odd strop that he pulls. We had to laugh the other day though they were walking down the street Holly with her arm over his shoulder looking like they were in the middle of world peace negotiations and all the local people smiling and thinking “how nice”. However when we enquired we were informed that Holly was just checking Toby wasn’t going to ask for the Bakugan toy back that he had given her.

World peace talks
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So off to the basketball for the Watson 5 - keep an eye out for us on TV.

Posted by Watson5 13:15 Comments (0)

On to Selcuk - from the frypan into the fire!!


On Saturday 12th August we flew from Kayseri (about an hour drive from Urgup) to Izmir. The flight was an hour and the only direct flight was with a budget airline called "Sun Express". Most people we mentioned it too raised their eyebrows that we were flying with these guys but we got there and to be fair it was fine. From Izmir we were picked up and driven another hour to Selcuk which is to be our base for 7 days whilst we explore the surrounding area. Another big day of travelling for the kids but they certainly do seem to be getting used to it and are really now very patient. Not sure what we'll have to do to keep this up when we get home - maybe drive to Christchurch every 2 weeks or something.

And so we arrived at "the pink house" which was to be our home for the next week or so we thought. It was an old stone house right in the middle of suburban Selcuk. A street with lots of noises, smells and colours. We were assured when we booked through a letting agent that the house was cool due to it's construction and whilst it didn't have air conditioning it did have ceiling fans and we would be fine. Well we were soon to find this was not so. It was the hottest I have every been in my entire life. The outside temp was still in the 40's but the humidity was much higher here and unlike our previous lovely cave houses there was no cool haven. The inside temp during one of Bellies day time sleeps was 45 degrees and at night time it dropped to a minimum of 35. We didn't know what to do with ourselves all windows were left wide open and each room had 3 fans on. The kids slept in their undies and we were wetting towels to put over ourselves for some respite. To say sleep was broken was an understatement - it was hideous like sleeping in a thermowave oven. Our only saviour was the hose in the courtyard which had beautiful cool water from an underground spring - but we couldn't stand under that all day. We barely survived two nights before we had to pull the pin and look for a new home. The kids are still all covered in heat rash but man do we now appreciate air conditioning. The house itself was great and the owner Robert did all he could to help even going as far as trying to get air conditioning installed however their was a huge waiting list. We are told this is the hottest summer Turkey has had in 120 years.

Now the pink house neighbourhood was really something that had to be seen it was "real Turkey" The houses were crammed together - Matt said he had never been in a house that had 14 neighbouring properties and the street was full of kids who spent most of their day talking to us or just standing at our windows which were at street level and right on the footpath (the footpath being only 1 foot wide itself) until around 11pm when they went off to bed (they are all on school holidays for 3 months). So there were lots of funny exchanges of words and gestures but we really were starting to feel like we were living in a fish bowl. We would have loved to have sent our kids out to play with these kids but realised that they are far from streetwise and wouldn't last 5 minutes. Hassan the 7 year old boy from next door would spend much of his day walking around the edge of the concrete wall that surrounded his roof balcony. We could just imagine Toby doing the same and falling the 4 metres to the ground below. Hassan also cared for his 2 year old sister out on the street. It is the polar opposite of our culture where we really are letting our kids do very little, we've taken away all the "high" things in playgrounds and they can't even walk to school on their own anymore. Somewhere in between the Turkish and the NZ philosophy would be good. Anyway the only time the street was quiet was in the morning until 10am when everyone was sleeping. All day there were cars, motorbikes and tractors whizzing past. In the evenings all the families would sit out on the street I guess in an attempt to cool down. The kids seemed to be put to bed around 11pm and the adults would stay up till 1am. We tried again to keep our kids up late - the difference being we put them to be at 10pm and they still woke at around 6am about 4 hours short on their usual sleep. That and the heat made for very grumpy times. So back to the street - well it was Ramadan so as soon as the sun sets there is a big feast and it seems a few extra calls to prayer. Then the funniest thing is the drummer that walks through the street at around 3.30am beating the living daylights out of this huge drum to wake all those observing Ramadan (and the odd kiwi families) so they can get up and feast before sunrise when the fasting all begins again. Then another call to prayer at 4.30am followed by all the tractors firing up for the day at 5am and heading to the fields before the heat sets in. So picture all that and put yourself in the oven for the night too - I'm surprised we're all still sane!
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That first night we went to a pizza restaurant chosen purely because a) it had air conditioning and b) the doors were shut (keeps Bellie in). We pretty much do all we can to avoid fastfood as despite anything it doesn't really taste that good here. Anyway we ordered three kids meals which came with a toy pictured on the menu as a small dinky type car. Well you can imagine how excited the kids were when out came a Barbie type doll for Holly, a spiderman van for Toby and a tea set for Bellie - the kids have been keen to go back every night since.
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If there can be any bonus to the heat it is the weight loss that comes with it - you literally just melt and really don't feel like eating a lot. Matt reckons I did enough sweating for the whole family, mostly I felt as if I was drinking and it was instantly pouring out of my face. I was sure the next family picture would have me as just a pair of shoes sitting in a puddle.

Thinking we were going to have to get two rooms in a hostel for a few nights Matt went into town to see what was available. One thing led to another and he ended up being shown some available houses. The one he snaffled up is just awesome. It has been built incorporating the walls of a ruin but is now a modern house in a nice area complete with outdoor Roman bath and raised turkish cushion platform as well as an awesome roof terrace. But the biggest plus is air conditioning in the bedrooms and living areas. The British guy Ben who manages the place even went out and bought a brand new cot for Bellie to sleep in. That first night we all just crashed it's very funny when a room at 24 degrees feels cold. What on earth are we going to do when we get home!
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Our haven - the turkish bath in our backyard

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Dinner under the Pomegranate tree

On Sunday 13th we visited Efesus which was great apart from the heat and the number of people there. The kids enjoyed wandering through the ruins. Holly exclaiming that "she loves travelling and seeing all this beautiful old stuff". We are constantly entertained by the things the kids come out with Holly had a bout of diarrhoea the other day and had us rolling round the floor laughing when she came out of the bathroom and said it was like "hot soup".
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Yesterday 19th saw us head to Pamukkale with it's stunning travertines. It is about a 3 hour drive from Selcuk and so was a big day for all. Matt and I hadn't visited Pamukkale on previous trips so this was a real highlight for us too.
They have been formed as the spring water containing a high concentration of calcium hydro carbonate contacts with oxygen and forms a precipitate. Toby thought it was snow at first sight - he and Holly had a ball wading through the man made section of the pools and getting thoroughly soaked.
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After a big day yesterday and to mark the half way point in our travels today was "kids treat day" We spent the day at "Aqua Fantasy Land" We all had a fantastic time and six hours later we dragged ourselves home. It was well set up with a little kids area with slides a pirate ship, an octopus and a 300 metre long lazy river . There were some pretty exciting big rides to but the kids were a little short for them yet. Bellie was a real trooper and didn't stop all day till we put her in the backpack to go home and she fell asleep within minutes. So tired bodies tonight should all sleep well.
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Mmmm icecream

Posted by Watson5 12:06 Comments (5)

Up up and away

Ballooning and farewell to Urgup

sunny 40 °C

Well a bit of a flurry of activity for our last few days in Urgup after cruising for a week or so we realised there were a still a few things on the "to do" list.

A trip to the Kamakli underground city being one of them . These are amazing a complete city joined with a network of tunnels. Kamakli is believed to have housed thousands of people from the 6th to 9th centuries. Five levels are open but a further 3 levels are thought to exist. The underground area is thought to cover 2.5km. The underground cities housed the Byzantine Christians and their animals at times when the Persian and Arabian armies were sent to banish them. The narrow walkways lead you into the depths of the earth, through stables with handles used to tether animals, churches with alters and baptism pools, walls with air circulation holes, granaries with grindstones and blackened kitchens and ovens.

Kamakli was a very exciting place for Holly and Toby - they were intrigued by all of the nooks and crannies and amazed that people could live underground. Bellie and I got down two levels but it all became a bit challenging for 6 foot me to carry her through the very low tunnels so we baled and went for a wander round the nearby stores instead.
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Exploring Kamakli

Next on the agenda was ballooning. Matt and Holly went first and Toby and I the day after. You get picked up at 4.30am and taken to the take off site which varies from day to day depending on wind. It was amazing driving seeing all of the balloons being inflated - there is a maximum of 52 in Goreme that could go up each morning and both days they were getting pretty close to that. Matt had 12 passengers in his balloon and I had 20 it was quite a buzz that initial lift off and realisation that we were travelling on hot air alone. Matt had an awesome pilot who told them all about the balloon and where they were going mine by comparison didn't utter a word. Matt and Holly went up to 700 metres Holly was in awe she described soaring over cliff faces. Toby thought we were on the set for the movie "Up" and was fascinated by what he could see namely the pool with a waterslide at a campground below.
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cake and wine (juice) at the end of the flight

The pool was still a daily feature in our schedule and the best thing to put some life back in our wilting children. Miss B had a nasty fall at the pool, she slipped on the wet tiles surrounding the pool and came crashing down on her front teeth and lip. So she is now minus a decent chunk from one of her front teeth and the one beside it. This all necessitated a visit to the Dentist. It was 6pm and Sacit the hotel manager offered to drive me to find a dentist, after a few phone calls we headed for the local hospital and on arrival were told the dentists finished at 4pm to do their private work but they wouldn't hand out any details as to where we could find them. Funny how you can tell when a conversation is getting a little heated even though you don't know what is being said. So it was back to our accommodation with poor Miss B and her huge fat lip, bleedi!ng teeth and bruising starting to come out round her eyes. Off in search of a dentist again the next morning - this time with more luck. The dental surgery was impeccably clean, we didn't have to wait at all and there were 4 dentists all peering into Bellie's mouth. Through Sacit they prescribed her some antibiotics to help lessen the chance of abscess formation and said that they felt the teeth should be fine but time would tell whether they will turn black - fingers crossed they're okay - little girls are not so cool with missing front teeth at the age 1. I was very impressed with the dental service and they refused to charge me at all for the visit - again not something that would happen at home. And also the hotel - driving me to the dentist twice and translating for me - we find that people just can't do enough for you in this country.
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Bellie and her mates at the pool - her last pic with an even set of teeth

As leaving day drew close we felt somewhat sad at the thought of having to farewell our friends both at the hotel and the pool. It is funny how our friendships had developed despite the language barrier. You kind of take people more at face value, knowing and unable to ask anything at all about their lives or backgrounds, instead attracted by their smiles and warmth. The day before we left we had cake and photos at both the hotel and the pool. It was lots of fun and our friends seemed genuinely grateful we had gone to the trouble apart from our omission that it was Ramadan and so some of them were fasting. During the month of Ramadan those that observe it do not eat or drink during daylight hours. I struggle to fathom how they manage in this heat without so much as a glass of water and yet they continue on with their jobs during this time. Suha the hotel manager told us many people die during this time but it is seen as "Gods will". Our farewell was full of hugs and kisses especially for the kids - I have to admit it was sad saying goodbye to these people whom it was unlikely we would see again. The only upside being most of them are on email or facebook and we have already had some messages that I am having some difficulty translating in some cases.
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Our Esbelli Evi Family

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Waiting patiently for cake - not!

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More cake with our pool friends

We look back at our month in Urgup with many fond memories and it will remain of the best experiences we have ever had. When we planned our trip to Turkey we knew our kids were too young to truly appreciate things such as museums and ruins - our hope was that they would have the opportunity to become immersed in the culture, making some Turkish friends to play with and be part of a community. We knew we would be lucky to get this experience yet here we are just halfway through our trip having achieved these goals. Our friends at Esbelli Evi and down at the Tas Konak pool shared their lives with us and made us a part of their families - we feel lucky indeed.

Posted by Watson5 11:40 Comments (3)

Just hanging with the locals

sunny 39 °C

Well that's exactly what we have been doing - just hanging out. We are pretty well known round town now as the average stay of tourists in this area is around 2-3 days and when we leave we will have been here 26. The pool remains a daily essential to cope with the heat and revive those small people. Our pool family are as attentive as ever, fussing round after the kids smothering them with kisses at any chance. Holly and Toby are picking up a few Turkish words both can greet and farewell, count to 10, ask how are you? and reply very good thank-you. They are enjoying the food and becoming very adventurous. Biscuits, chips and muesli bars are but a thing of the past. It's not that they are not available it's more that there are many other foods that taste much better and are much healthier. Bellie almost goes spare every time she sees a watermelon. We visited a Kuruyemis which is a shop that sells bulk dried fruit, nuts and spices. We went to buy dried apricots and after a taste of about 20 different items came out with a bag of goodies. In apricots alone there were about 5 different types. We went for the sun dried, sulphate free ones which don't look that flash but a absolutely beautiful. It amazes me that they are just dried out in the sun on big verandahs and roofs. We also bought roasted apricot kernels, cranberries, sesame covered peanuts, dried salted corn ( it is the best) and some potato snacks. The kids have gone mad on them. When we first arrived they were not that keen on eating all the new foods and it's fair to say that caused me some angst, especially with Bellie who is usually our best eater. However that phrase bandied around by every child expert "A healthy child will never starve themselves" popped into my head and I decided to let it slide and see what happened - sure enough after a few days of fussing it all fell in to place and they are now thoroughly enjoying the culinary experience.
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Man check out the change in Bellie - thought she was getting heavy!

Yesterday we went to the local Saturday market. It was busy, noisy, and colourful. We bought 2kg of strawberries for $5 shovelled into a bag with a plastic shovel. 1 kg of grapes for $2, and nectarines, tomatoes and zucchini all for $2. We also saw a man selling leeches, and another selling brightly dyed chicks and ducklings. It was lots of fun just wandering many of the stall holders tried to get us to buy clothes for the kids but they were funny old fashioned looking Lacy dresses. The strawberries we last night's dessert treat though they were almost jam by the time we got home after Bellie sitting on to them. We stopped for lunch on the way home and Bellie was up to her usual tricks of befriending another family and trying on their kids sunglasses and hats. They were a Turkish family who lived in England and they appeared to be quite wealthy. It caused me some anxiety that the boys sunglasses that Bellie was wearing were Ray Bans - I was relieved when she finally returned them in one piece. Poor old Bell was genuinely upset when they left and she had to go home with her boring old family.
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Check out the Strawberries

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.....and leeches

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Bellie and her Ray Bans

Today's outing was meant to be a double decker bus ride around the surrounding countryside so we scooted through breakfast to get down town by 8.45am for a 9.00am departure. First we were told to come back at 10.00am as the bus was being cleaned so we wandered the streets to fill in time and found a playground. Only to return to be told the cleaning was taking longer than expected and they wouldn't be leaving till 1.00pm - ahhh Turkey time! Needless to say we will give it another go tomorrow morning.

Monday 9th August
Well the bus was there this morning and we had a great personalised 2 hour tour with the whole of the double decker bus to ourselves. Made up for yesterdays mucking around and gave us the opportunity to have a good look around the area at our kind of speed and without the kids getting bored.
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The town of Uchisar

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Oh and pleased to report - no more sightings of "school-pens"

Posted by Watson5 12:53 Comments (7)

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